Those Pesky Mystics

By: Brian Robertson

If you want to see fireworks, don’t wait till July 4th, just drop the word “mystic” in with fundamentalists or those who, usually out of fear, have earnestly cast God in their own, rather limited, point of view.

Case in point. I noticed someone visited this site from a link I’d never seen before, and when I checked it out I came across a forum in which a person who identified himself by his forum name as “mystic” was being roundly batted around by people allegedly steeped in the Love of Christ.

One person snorted the following:

Mystic is not a “Christian” by standard definition. He does not follow the Bible instead he depends on man’s interpretation of what “spirituality” SHOULD be, according to the writings of mystics such as St. John of the Cross. Mystics are a cross between neo-paganism and Christianity. They also have a lot of eastern influences. They believe in self edification…or the divine self..God dwells in them, making them mini-gods. That is why he is confused.

This is the kind of uninformed, rabid “hop-scotch” stumble so popular among people who are convinced God is simply a larger version of their own ignorance and prejudices and demands. Also, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anyone accuse St. John of the Cross of not being a Christian, by the way. It is a sad commentary on the Christianity of Fear rather than the teachings, of, say, Jesus of Nazareth who, also to my knowledge, never particularly called himself a Christian. It is also my firm experience that a person who might be termed a “mystic” is not of the opinion that they are a “mini-god.” In fact, one of the earmarks of a mystic is the sense of being humbled before God, not puffed up and ego-centered.

If God is not within us and is and cannot be experienced, how is it that one of the creation stories in Genesis recounts how our human life came from God’s very breath entering into us? Why did Jesus mention that the Presence (Kingdom) of God is not to be found in some future event or distant place, but here, within us? Is one willing to dismiss the entire strand of Christianity voiced by George Fox in his tradition evidenced by Quakers? Was Paul simply misinformed when he said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me..” Perhaps there was a misunderstanding by the writer of 1 John 4:16: “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.”

None of what I saw on the forum is new. This is a constant, ongoing battle cry from fundamentalists of various religions — obviously not just Christianity. These are the voices, not of God, but of humankind’s hatreds and limitations and exclusivity. These are the voices of those who claim themselves “saved” and use it as a measuring stick with which to beat about the heads of others.

Jesus reminded us,

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

– Brian Robertson


[To reinforce your view, here is something from John’s Gospel:

‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they may all be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one with us: that the world may believe that thou hast 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 I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

John 17: 20-26

In the end, ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you’. If the mansions, or rooms, are filled with the Spirit, they can be dressed as Buddhist, Sufic, Hindu or any kind of tradition which is full of the Light. There is plenty of space. As Krishnamurti said, ‘Truth is a pathless Way’]