Sunday, January 23, 2011
When considering the history and structure of the Universe or the actuality of sub atomic particles there can be no factual human experience of the reality. We must reduce the macro Universe and the micro Universe to mathematical numbers and symbols or constructed images or words. The numbers, symbols, images, or words are absolutely not facsimiles
of the actuality.
When the mystic seeks to conceive of Deity, the same restrictions and limitation apply. For this reason the mystic may use the term “ineffable mystery” as an identifying term. If understood this term acknowledges the conceptual limitation.
As with the scientist, the mystic might then seek to use human perception to establish a mental concept of Deity while accepting the limitation of the process.
For the mystic it is often unrealistic to give Deity the limitation of human form or attributes. This would only serve to separate Deity from the whole of the infinitely large and small of the Universe in the now, past, and prior to the existence of the Universe. For the mystic the concept of Deity must transcend time, space, and material from.
One concept that is useful to some mystics is the concept of Deity as Mind. The totality of time, space, matter, and everything is a unified organism that is transcended by Divine Mind. For the mystic using this concept, the individual mind is an aspect of the Divine Universal Mind. For this reason the individual mind has the capability of a direct connection to the Divine Mind. Within each individual human mind is the source of all that exists. All form, living or inanimate, is transcended by Mind in this concept. Even the smallest creature is animated and sustained in from by the transcendent Mind.
Using this concept the mystic is aware and amazed that the Divine Mind seeks self realization in the human mind. The mystic realizes that the human desire to know of Deity is caused by Deity. Humankind is responding to desire from Divine Mind for communion. When we pray or meditate, we are actually inspired by the object of our prayers and meditations.
Of course this mystic concept of Deity is no more than a scientist’s mathematical formulary. This mystical concept of Deity is not a facsimile of the actuality of Deity. It only serves to seek rationalization of the ineffable mystery.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Expressions and symbols of the universal noumenon are established by religions as names such as “God”, “Supreme Being”, “Allah”, “Deity”, etc.
A mystic may test a religion by asking a representative or authority of the religion the question: “Can I communicate (through prayer, meditation, or contemplation) directly as an individual alone with the religion’s Universal Noumenon? Of course in asking the question using the appropriate term, expression, or verbal symbol for the religion’s Universal Noumenon such as “God” in the question.
If the representative of the religion responds “no”, then the mystic should consider the religion false.
If the representative of the religion responds “yes”, then the mystic should consider the religion true to its primary responsibility.
The mystic might then withdraw in isolation to seek a personal communication with the Universal Noumenon. The mystic might do well to ignore the superficialities of the particular religion and focus intently on the treasure gained from the repository.
The mystic, however, must not feel that the superficialities of a religion have no value to humankind. It is the multitude that supports and perpetuates the religion and keeps the primary knowledge alive in the repository. Without the multitude the knowledge of the Universal Noumenon would be lost.
What is accomplished by individuals that make up the multitude?
For any of the multitude who seeks and believes, the same individual communication and union that is accomplished by the mystic is accomplished by the individual member of the multitude.
The path of the mystic is often lonely and at times doubtful while the path of the multitude is more comforting and filled with the assurance of comradery.
So why take the mystic path?
Sometimes it is abhorrence for the superficialities associated with the religion. Sometimes, perhaps, it is an attraction from the Universal Noumenon.
Monday, May 5, 2008
The ego is a critical consideration for anyone interested in mysticism, a matter of concern for anyone seeking the mystical experience, and a constant companion for even the most solitary mystic.
The position of this writer is that the mystic should be a friend, not enemy, to the ego.
The blog dialogue referenced in this post presents only a consideration for an approach and mindset in dealing with the ego. It does not give advice regarding how to initially recognize, realize, and model the ego intellectually for the individual, or offer advice on mastering the ego initially.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
For the solitary mystic that world might be mundane and cruel indeed. The great unknowing over the planet Earth causes such conflict and turmoil – the unknowing that the right hand is actually injuring the left hand of the same being.
In the torrent of human struggle and pain, the mystic bends low with all humankind in the sadness, grief, and disappointment that plagues human existence. Likewise the mystic takes what joy is available in the moments of peace and plenty.
For the mystic in the mundane everyday world, however, there is a slight serendipity and subtle interplay between contemplation and unfolding reality that brings true joy.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
While most forms of mysticism seek to rationalize a nameless and formless singularity of being, the Christian mystic translates the experience into the vernacular of Christian tradition. This is a natural and effective way to model the mystic experience in such a manner as to be acceptable within the Christian paradigm.
The Christian mystic typically views Christian tradition and scripture metaphorically rather than literally. Most often Jesus represents the example to be obtained at the human level. Biblical scripture such as John 17: 21-23 allude to the Christian mystic experience:
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Under the subject of Christian Mysticism, Wikipedia notes that the Christian mystic views the totality of the text in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) metaphorically to contain the way for direct union with God.
It appears that the historical person now named Jesus (formerly Yeshua) was a Jew with mystical inclinations. For the Christian mystic, however, the metaphorical Jesus represents the potential for a person to connect directly with God and to be filled, first in small part and then in full, with the presence of God. This can also be translated as being filled with Jesus consciousness or God consciousness.
While some mystics might consider this personification of the mystic experience to create a filter between the mystic and the direct mystic experience, for the person raised in a Christian religious paradigm, this would be the most effective avenue to the mystic experience.
The Christian mystic might look back to an earlier Christian mystic, Johannes Eckhart. This 13th century mystic of the Dominican order spoke of passing beyond God to a ‘simple ground’, a ‘still desert’, without any distinctions, out of which all were created*.
This ‘still desert without any distinctions’ is where all true mystics meet in union.
*Meister Eckhart - passing beyond God
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Scientists look with wonder at how the objects in the Universe are accelerating away from each other, increasing the space between the objects, yet the objects themselves seem not to be effected by this expansion – remaining stable and the same size in composition.
Yet, the scientists have found that the true creating and sustaining mechanism of the material Universe lies in the realm of ultimately small particles and phenomena rather than in outer space.
When we look into the sky, or observe life on planet Earth, we view in the direction of the effect. When we look into the void and view the world of quantum physics, we view in the direction of the cause.
Perhaps this is why the mystic realizes more in the silent contemplation of zero than the mass of the Universe.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Some ancient mystic brother taught others that the mystic experience could not be obtained while talking, nor by listening to logic, nor while in difficult physical activity, nor in great pain, nor by any strong determined effort. The wise mystic brother taught that to simply calm the body and mind, seek to void the mind of thoughts, and find as much silence and solitude within the individual mind as is possible is the way to obtain a personal mystic experience. It is only in a peaceful, solitary, and silent state-of-mind, that the individual mind can attune and be receptive to the quiet wisper of Ultimate Reality.
Perhaps the same ancient brother taught what to expect from the mystic experience. Some brother first described the experience as the silent voice, another, the silent awareness, and yet another, the silent teacher.
These are descriptions of a personal experience where the individual becomes aware and sensitized in a new manner that is perceived and confirmed by that individual and for that individual only. In this little slice of non-secular activity, no one except the individual is involved in the process. Mysticism could be described as a singular religion that relates to the core teaching of most major religions.
Mysticism then does not need science to confirm the mystic experience. Only the individual can accomplish this alone, and then go on to confirm the experience to that individuals satisfaction.
New scientific insights into the structure and process of ultimate physical reality, however, are interesting to the more worldly mystic that wants the intellectual knowledge to see beyond the material with eyes wide open in the activity of living in the general social paradigm of today.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
What causes matter to form into structures, such as human beings, from the universe of elementary particles? How is it that a particle without mass, a non-material form, acquires mass, a material form, in the Universe? How is it that something non-material becomes material? Science suggests that the answer is the Higgs mechanism that occurs in what is called the Higgs Field.
In an article titled Mystery of Matter on the Kangla Online
website, Professor Th. Jekendra Singh, a senior faculty with the Physics Department, Manipur University, the professor noted about the Higgs Field:
Professor Singh noted that the Higgs field is universal.
Another property of this field is that particles that interact with this field behave as if they have mass. Because of this, contemporary theories insist that particles acquire mass through their interactions with Higgs field…
Our bodies are made of atoms. Atoms are made of protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons and neutrons are again made of quarks. These quarks acquire masses through their interactions with the Higgs fields. In short Higgs fields confer masses on us, the planets, stars etc
A property of the Higgs field is that it has nonzero strength throughout the universe. The universe is, in a sense, permeated throughout by a nonzero Higgs field.
Are scientists now detecting that point where matter is created and formed? The mystic asks, is this the point where the material illusion begins? Is this point where universal consciousness becomes isolated in separate material form?
The Scientists wait with no less interest and anticipation than the mystic as we watch for further breakthroughs. One breakthrough predicted soon will be further insight into the Higgs Boson. Professor Singh concludes with optimism:
At the moment physicists are looking for Higgs bosons at the Tevatron Collider at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, USA. The Large Electron-Positron Collider (LEP) at CERN was tantalizingly close to finding a Higgs boson before it was shut down to make room for the Large Hadron Collider. LHC shall be operational this summer. But it may take one to two years in \ analyzing the data. So, the race is on.
Gordon Kane writes, ‘ What is discovered about Higgs bosons will not only test whether the Higgs mechanism is indeed providing mass, it will also point the way to how the Standard Model can be extended to solve problems such as the origin of dark matter’.
What an exciting era for the Scientist and Mystic as we grow closer and closer to understanding the structure of reality.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
For the mystic there is an attunement as though a single musical note has joined a symphony. There is something else there besides the mystic in the experience. This is the mystical assurance that begins to effect even everyday life for the mystic.
To quote once more from Joel Moorwood
who was mentioned in the prior post: “So, if you want to know this Truth, you must finally let go of all your thoughts and all your experiences. You must allow yourself to sink beneath this whole transitory stream of mental and sensory phenomena into that Ocean of Silence at the Heart of the World. For it is only when you are completely lost and dissolved in the shoreless depths of this Ocean that Gnosis can burst forth like a bolt of lightning, ‘which lights up the sky from one end to the other,’ and makes the Truth as plain to you "as an amalka fruit held in the palm of your hand.’"
The mystic, however, keeps the experience formless, without description, deep in mindless knowing. It is a comforting concept, however, to consider that “Consciousness” is a possible aspect to the Universe.
In an article published on the National Catholic Review website, written by Rich Heffern titled Consciousness – Science’s biggest mystery, there is the most intriguing quote from Mario Beauregard, associate professor at the University of Montrol:
“Contemplation produces brain states not associated with ordinary consciousness, and the signatures left behind in the brain by such experiences indicate that the experiencer contacts a reality outside herself.
“Beauregard says that the hard problem ceases to be a problem once we understand the universe itself as the realm of consciousness that was there from the beginning.
“’We might expect living beings to evolve toward mind if consciousness underlies the universe. Consciousness study in the 21st century promises to be an exciting endeavor but it will be stymied if the only purpose is to reduce consciousness to something it is not or to show it’s an illusion,’ Beauregard says."
The article continues to note:
He is not the only scientist suggesting that the very foundations of modern science are being undermined by consciousness research.
John Haught, Senior Fellow in Science and Religion at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington, told NCR: ‘After the philosopher Descartes’ famous formulation, ‘I think, therefore I am,’ mind and matter were separated in such a way that modern science and philosophy don’t see subjectivity or mind as really a part of the universe.’
Haught recognizes that, for hard-nosed materialists, bridging the explanatory gap necessarily involves a sort of alchemy, or magic. To get the richness of our consciousness to somehow emerge out of nothing more than primordial dust and primeval rocks for the materialists is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. ‘The qualitative feel of consciousness, each person’s unshakable private experience, is a deeply puzzling phenomenon for them,’ he said.
Haught’s view is that consciousness, or mind, was there from the beginning; human consciousness developed over an evolutionary course that has taken billions of years.
'This more aptly fits both the Christian Trinitarian approach and our Catholic sacramental and biblical views,’ Haught said, adding that the universe, the Earth, evolution and the Christian scriptures are all about promise.
'Theologically I link that sense of promise to the presence of the divine that permeates the universe from the very beginning into the future.’
“’Mind research aligns the whole of nature with us, in our status of anticipating union with God, he said. ‘Surprisingly, the study of consciousness or mind thoroughly re-values the natural world, and we desperately need that today’.
For the mystic, it will be most comforting should science discover that what is “there” is the Universe.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
For the mystic, a primary difficulty in communication is the subject of reality. For some “what we see is what there is”. For others “what we see can be extended by concept”, such as the concept of God. For the mystic “what we see is an indication of a more universal reality that should be visible physically as we look deeper into the structure of reality”.
The heroes for the mystics today are physicists such as Gray Shiu, physics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In an article titled “Particle accelerator may reveal shape of alternate dimensions” (View complete article at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-01/uow-pam013108.php), Shiu noted that the “Large Hadron Collider, scheduled to begin operating later this year near Geneva, Switzerland,” may reveal “exotic new particles that may offer a glimpse of the existence and shapes of extra dimensions”.
The article continues with the mention of the most intriguing current theory, for mystics, in quantum physics, the string theory. “String theory, which describes the fundamental particles of the universe as tiny vibrating strings of energy, suggests the existence of six or seven unseen spatial dimensions in addition to the time and three space dimensions that we normally see.
‘Much as the shape of a musical instrument determines its sound, the shape of these dimensions determines the properties and behavior of our four-dimensional universe,’ says Gary Shiu, lead author of a paper appearing in the Jan. 25 issue of Physical Review Letters.
‘The shape of the dimensions is crucial because, in string theory, the way the string vibrates determines the pattern of particle masses and the forces that we feel,’ says the UW-Madison physics professor.”
The old mystic axiom that we can “sense more than we can see” may no longer be true, except, of course, for the fact that science can only now “sense”, and model mathematically, the fundamental particles. The exciting thing for the mystic is that we (humans) might soon actually “see” even deeper into this mystical environment we call the Universe.
More about the “strings” later.
Friday, February 1, 2008
This “oneness” was validated by science to the mystic in the concept that everything is made of atoms, therefore “oneness” and “sameness” of the fundamental element of material form. A tree, a rock, and a human, while very different in form, could be viewed as all the same in atomic structure. In this vision or “model of reality”, the mystic made a correlation between experience and science, in that, to both the mystic and science, all form was derived from the same base element (atoms) caused to combine in structure and form into an individual shape or system by some unseen or unnamed factor.
It was not until science began to peer into the sub-atomic world, that the true abstract nature of the mystic’s vision, and the vision of science, began concurring as to the non-material and surreal nature of the physical environment we call the Universe.
Quantum physics began to discover and describe more and more the “real” world to mystics, while the religions held firm to the old Newtonian material vision of the world in conflict with emerging science. The mystics, on the other hand, have began to embrace science as an intellectual quest for real Truth.
One of the exciting theories in quantum physics today is “non-locality” and “superluminal" influences. A suggested quick read of the subject is available at Wikipedia at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonlocality. These theories and the breakthroughs they promise bring science and mysticism into the same Universe in this space time. For the mystic individual, science is beginning to sense and describe the Universe, in what can only be described in human words, as “MIND”. In the same sense, form and complex systems can only be described as being sustained by “THOUGHT”.
It is the mystic “mind” that contemplates and attunes with the Universal “MIND” in the form of an exchange of “thought” for THOUGHT”.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Joel Morwood in an article titled *Science and Mysticism in the Twentieth Century* points out these values in a most thought provoking narrative. Click to read:
For more about Joe Morwood and his Center for the Sacred Sciences click here: http://www.centerforsacredsciences.org/
A more accessible expression of the mystic experience was made by Edgar Mitchell on his way back from the moon to planet earth. The quote below is from Cabinet of Wonders.
"For astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the defining moment of his life was not the moment when, on February 9, 1971, he became the sixth man to walk on the surface of the Moon. Rather, it was something that happened to him on the way back from the Moon - something he would later describe as a 'spontaneous epiphany experience'.
As the Apollo 14 Command Module barrelled homewards, Mitchell, during a rare idle moment, looked out through the window. His gaze took in the stars, the Sun, the approaching Earth, all seeming to gracefully revolve about him (though in fact it was the spacecraft itself that was rotating).
And then it happened. Suddenly, Mitchell was no longer experiencing himself as a detached observer looking out at the Universe. Instead, he was truly in the Universe. And so was everything, and everyone, else. Everything was connected. Everything was joined in a unified whole in which matter, time and space were merely different aspects of an all-pervading universal consciousness.
'I actually felt what has been described as an ecstasy of unity,' he later explained. "'The thought was so large it seemed inexpressible, and to a large degree it still is.'"