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Does mysticism bring all the great religions together?

5 Comments


English: Saint Faustina Polski: Św. Faustyna K...

Saint Faustina Polski: Św. Faustyna Kowalska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My view is that different faith groups are connected in the overall dynamic of becoming but they are not necessarily the same, even at the most fundamental experiential level.

That perspective is based on personal religious experience, which (obviously) I cannot share with everyone. So making a scientific claim here is problematic. However, we can, as Marko Ivan Rupnik puts it, employ a “rational-experiential” approach to religious experience.

Talking about the Catholic idea of discerning God’s will, which includes the belief that we are able to discern different spiritual influences, Rupnik says:

It is important to state that no matter how important reading about discernment can be, discernment is a reality into which one must be initiated. This initiation requires a rational-experiential approach.¹

On this point I agree. But Rupnik goes on to say that discernment never happens alone. A qualified (Catholic) spiritual director is necessary. And it’s on the second part of this claim that I raise some questions. For example,

  • How do we know that a given Catholic spiritual director is qualified to direct us correctly?
  • Does not the Catholic saint, Faustina Kowalska, write in her Divine Mercy Diary that some of her confessors were too inexperienced to understand her, and that she didn’t tell them everything because she had learned that they would get it wrong and mislead her? If this kind of misdirection could happen within the sacrament of confession, could it not happen with an assigned spiritual director?²

Anyhow, I digress. The point of this post is to stimulate debate about various kinds of religion, how they differ but could also work together.

¹ Marko Ivan Rupnik, SJ. Discernment: Acquiring the Heart of God, Pauline Books and Media, 2006, p.4

² Later in the book she says she realized that holding back at confession was a sin, which makes for slightly confusing reading.

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5 thoughts on “Does mysticism bring all the great religions together?

  1. I used to think the mystic level of every religion was the same but as I have grown in the Spirit and let go of what I thought I knew, I have come to realize that was a deception. I revisited the Manly Hall book, can’t remember the title and was aghast that I once believed or swallowed the lies mixed with truth. So much of what is put forth as spirituality and religion is a bunch of truths mixed with a few lies that negate the Truth, just like Hegelian arguments argue both sides thereby neutralizing or negating both. The TRUTH that is a major stumbling block today as it was in 0 – 70 AD is Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed One from God is the TRUTH, the new thing that few are able to perceive because there is so much deception, manipulation, lies, half-truths, opposition, mockery, scoffing, efforts to steer away from the Truth for the greed, power and enslaving human souls to the benefit of the elite in all areas of worldly life that have been corrupted: religion (roman catholicism has been corrupted as most religion of all ilk have been corrupted), entertainment, arts, business/corporations, education, economics and even family (the self-proclaimed royals of the kingdom of darkness). Truth is not something to find or seek such as enlightenment; Truth is the being of Jesus the Christ who comes into you when you invite him and you begin to live, move and have your being in TRUTH, reconnected to God and who you were created to be: the image and likeness of Christ! Wake up! “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead and Christ will give you light” Christ is not a religion but a way of thinking that is from the Higher Mind of God, our Father, that leads to LIFE and LIFE more abundant! Jesus is the WAY to think TRUTH thoughts that lead to LIFE, living the life of Christ in a garden paradise on earth as it is in heaven! “There is life and death in the tongue” and what we speak comes forth from what we think in our heart. “As we think in our heart, so are we” and when we come up to the higher ways and thoughts of God through his Christ Mind, “As he is, so are we in the world” ~Yvonne

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  2. Oh, and your words, “Does mysticism bring all the great religions together? Isn’t that like saying alcohol makes wine the same as beer?” ring true! Being “drunk” in the Spirit of God is very different than being drunk with wine or hard liquor, spirits! When we are drinking in spirits, what is inside us comes out through lowered inhibitions. If there is hidden anger inside, anger will come out; if there is hidden depression inside, sadness will come out, crying or blubbering about who done me wrong like a country song full of drama and trauma and loss of love. Just like when you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out; squeeze a lemon and lemon juice comes out. IF the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us, when we are squeezed or pressure in on us, God should come out (Love, Peace, Joy, Compassion, etc); you know people by their fruits as you can know religions by their fruits. So when pedophilia and sexual abuse and money laundering and corruption surfaces from the roman catholic church, you know the Holy Spirit is not in them. Sad but true. Same with ISIS, when rape and murder comes out showing the world what is hidden within and what spirits are in them or within there so-called religion of peace. Peace is a person, Christ, not a religion; religion can never give you peace, Peace comes in when Christ’s Spirit comes into your body. In the midst of drama, trauma or troubles invite the Prince of Peace in and you will begin to see the Higher Way! Each person can be filled with the Holy Spirit and see the fruit come out when you are squeezed: love, peace, joy, gentleness, goodness, kindness, patience, compassion, wisdom, understanding, faithfulness, and self-control.

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  3. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ll be honest, which I believe Jesus wants from us. I get the impression that you are very happy with your understanding of the Bible, and that that works very well for you. But there are others who question aspects of the Bible, seeing these aspects as more culturally and politically inspired than as something inspired by God.

    Next point… at certain points the Bible suggests we should make a judgement call, and at other places it says “judge not so that you will not be judged.” I’m speaking in reference to your mention of corruption. I agree that the world is rife with corruption. No argument there. But I would add that we are all imperfect. So how do we judge those we deem as corrupt? We can’t really. We may choose not to associate with those we deem as terribly corrupt because they bring us down, but ultimately we cannot judge. Only God can. At least, this is how I see it.

    As for my wine and beer thing, this was just an analogy. Perhaps I could have better elaborated on that. As you point out, it was not a perfect comparison. But analogies are not meant to be perfect comparisons or equivalents. Just rough imagery to try to point to or illustrate something. So what I was trying to say is that my experience of different religions reveals numinous (or spiritual) differences. They are all forms of “spirituality,” but my experience of them is quite different. So re my analogy, wine and beer are both forms of “alcoholic beverages,” but they taste very different.

    Thanks again for saying it like you see it. I believe God’s truth can encompass both our views, and much, much more.🙂

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  4. Each of us exists at the center of our own universe, at the center of our perceptions. Those perceptions which most of us happen to share in common we term “reality”, but the corollary says reality as perceived is quite a subjective matter. Does that mean “truth” is also subjective? Each person’s experience of mysticism and the Divine is also unique, and yet there exists some widely recognized experience commonalities throughout time and across the scope of humanity. Are such commonalities tied to our genetic bonds which touch in various places, increasingly so towards the most primitive? Does not our mind fabricate reality to the best of its ability, often adding to or leaving out that which sensory perceptions and prior experiences are (for one reason or another) incapable of fully resolving? But an answer to the ultimate question remains clouded behind a veil… is this just “me” or to what degree if any do outside agents of influence seek to guide any continuing development? Jung expressed our need for fantasy, but does calling it that not also provide something akin to an approved pressure relief safety valve, an anchor back to sanity? That said, be sure to tell your own Angels and Demons hello from me. 😉

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  5. Extremely thoughtful comment. I wonder if we can ever be certain about “experience commonalities.” Maybe it depends on how we define that. So many people, for example, say “the holy spirit came upon me.” I wonder, though, if all of these experieces are qualitatively the same. Or perhaps these people are all using the same words to describe what actually are different experiences among themselves.

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