Conversations with a Mystic: Michael Clark, Ph.D. talks with Teresa Silverthorn
The following took place January 19-22, 2009.
Michael Clark: Teresa, thank you for suggesting that we take time to engage in this online dialogue. I hope that our readers will find it illuminating.
My first question has to do with the nature of mysticism. Would it be possible for you to sum up what you feel are the main points in mysticism?
I mean, what is it?
Teresa Silverthorn: Thank you, Dr. Clark, for agreeing to share this information with your readers. It is my greatest hope that I may be helpful to all people, within every religion, and aid in their own faith walk, with my personal experiences.
Each mystic, throughout history, has had varied experiences. And, therefore, would define this term from their own perspective. For myself, I would use the term explorer. I, and mystics with similar experiences, have gone beyond the written word, into the heights of the unknown, bringing back treasures of information from foreign locations which others have merely theorized as existing. It is those that actually walk upon the land, that can verify its existence and return with the knowledge, that, to this day, has been used for many holy texts.
Therefore, after one actually experiences an event, or sees the varied landscapes of that unseen reality, they are now considered ones who know rather than ones who wonder. It is not a matter of ego to know that which you have experienced. It is only a matter of factual recollection.
As a result, the explorer, becomes the point-of-contact for that theory, or wonderment. Because, at this point, that explorer, that mystic – knows.
Michael Clark: When you speak of factual recollection are you talking in a Platonic sense, as in recollecting the allegedly timeless Forms or do you simply mean that one knows by remembering what one experienced?
Teresa Silverthorn: Admittedly, I had to brush up on my Platonic theories in order to fully understand your question. When I first discovered Plato, nearly 20 years ago, I wasn’t fully recognizing the sheer brilliance of his work. I suppose I was more intrigued by the techniques that Socrates used in his dialogues, than the content.
But, when I read the Platonic theory of recollection, I had to smile. I wouldn’t have agreed with him 20 years ago, but I do now, in a small sense.
While it is true that the soul matter is recycled, allowing the new user, i.e. the human, to access the hidden crevices of its databanks, it takes a certain type of environment in order to accomplish this.
And, in my opinion, if this environment were readily available, all people would have the information we’re discussing right now, and there would be no need to question it, whatsoever.
But, that isn’t the case.
Although, I do agree, in part, with Plato’s theory of factual recollection, I was only stating that term in its purest form.
I know – because I experienced these things firsthand, and can readily rally them to mind.
Michael Clark: Okay… now, you state that you know because you have had unconventional experiences which, I assume, were for you beyond a shadow of a doubt as to their truthfulness. And that knowing also involves your being able to “rally them” to mind.
By using the phrase “rally them” are we talking about electrochemically encoded memory (as in current theories about memory and the brain) or an ability to reactivate the total experience?
Teresa Silverthorn: By “rally them” to mind, I simply mean that after documenting them at the time, concurring with others that witnessed many of these events, extricating myself from the sense of denial that many people experience, I am able to consciously accept them as fact.
If there is a scientific term for this procedure, I am unaware of it. You must understand that I did not enter the field of mysticism through books, or scientific terminology. And, more than likely, no mystics, in history, have done so. I would say, with all respect, that books and scientific terminology were created as a means of analyzing the experiences of people such as myself in order to categorize and better understand our efforts to share information with others.
Michael Clark: For many people the term ‘mysticism’ denotes an esoteric, internal experience that usually cannot be easily shared with others. But you say that you concur “with others that witnessed many of these events.”
Does this mean that others have the same type of inner experience or, by way of contrast, do they encounter some kind of outer phenomenon such as a miracle?
Teresa Silverthorn: Ah, you have asked an excellent question, Dr. Clark. But, there is one vital point I’d like to make before I address the second half of your statement.
I disagree that mystics find it difficult to share these internal experiences with others. I, like many others, have found that these experiences aren’t well received by others, therefore, am selective of who I share them with. Mystics, in history, have been killed for sharing too much with others. They have been slaughtered by those who are envious, and shunned by those who are concerned that these mystics will reveal something, perhaps, that would threaten their power, or control. When I was a Catholic, I was warned, by the priest, to remain silent. Afterwards, I heard that there was a group of mystics in another part of the country, who were ex-communicated from the Roman Catholic Church because their revelations did not coincide with the teachings of Christianity.
I did not remain silent. And, I was not ex-communicated.
Interestingly, the Roman Catholic Church never questioned my validity. No one suggested that wasn’t a mystic. They were simply concerned that I would reveal something that was best left unsaid.
Luckily, there are laws now protecting people with special abilities, unlike in the past where innocent women were burned, dunked and hung for sharing their experiences with others. If not, I probably wouldn’t be here, today, speaking of mine…
Others have, indeed, been present to witness the result of my prayers. But, my prayers were for protection, not for harm. My requests have been for the good of all, not only for myself. Yes, there have been witnesses to these events, and they have been documented for years. But, this documentation isn’t necessarily for the public. It is for me. I consider these memoirs to be a constant reminder of my faith, in a world that is, at times, unstable.
Bear in mind, once again, that I am only answering your question truthfully. My hope is to help all people nurture their own seeds of mysticism, through this information.
Michael Clark: It sounds like you are talking about the prayer of intercession. In Catholic circles this kind of prayer is understood to take two main forms–vocal and mental.
Mental doesn’t mean “crazy” as in popular discourse. Rather, it means the prayer is inward, quiet and benefits both self and others. It benefits self because the person praying continues to relate with God in a very personal, intimate and heartfelt manner. And it benefits others because purifying graces mystically transfer from God through the mediator to others in need of divine assistance. This is the belief, at any rate. The unifying factor is that which Catholics call the mystical body of Christ.
Now, I’m curious as to how your practice fits with this set of beliefs. Could it be that you really are a true Catholic after all, but just one turned off by the organizational aspects of Catholicism and perhaps lukewarm souls who just go for appearances, etc? This is just a thought off the top of my head. If I’m wrong, please say so.
Teresa Silverthorn: A true Catholic? In all honesty, sir, I wanted to be. I sincerely wanted to be. But, the power that surrounds me had its own ideas for my destiny. I was only a fervent seeker of the Catholic path for a few, blissful years. But, it was made clear to me, at a certain point, that it was time to go.
And, in retrospect, I was wise to leave. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have expanded my knowledge to the point of clarifying the enormity of the aforementioned power, and its universal, non-selective grace, over all religions, and all people…
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Visit Teresa Silverthorn’s website, Confessions of a Mystic: True Stories