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6A: Mystic Consciousness

"Mystics are the ones who hunger and thirst after righteousness, as the Bible puts it, the ones who yearn for continued or increased union with the other reality they themselves feel is the real reality — the reality which heals and makes all things new again. Their yearning is their most distinctive mark and has been called by some a 'deep and burning wound,' because it propels them toward the transcendent nature of life much as a lover is drawn toward the object of his love. The term is also descriptive of the slow and painful completion process of joining totally with, or being in, the transcendent state — a process which should not be confused with psychological development. The latter is a matter of self-understanding, self-acceptance and personal integration. The former involves itself with self-forgetting, the disappearance of the self into mysterious union with God, the Absolute, the Transcendent aspect of reality, the Tao. Thus the term self-transcendence (with its emphasis on the small 's' in the word self, as opposed to the Self, higher aspect of the personality) means letting go of egoistic interests and practical, worldly matters" (Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics 7).

"mystic" — One who has intimate, firsthand acquaintance with God; a man of prayer. Jesus was the greatest mystic of all ages" (RW/Mystic).

"mysticism" — The practice of the presence of God; the life of prayer that results in intuitive knowledge and experience of God" (RW/Mystic).

The mystic yearns for God-awareness, and God-awareness only! The "things" that are added unto as the result of seeking God are no longer of importance to the mystical mind. The path of the mystic can be experienced as painful because of the degree of selflessness that is required along the way. But, this path can also be the most glorious experience in the spiritual development of the soul if the disciple thoroughly understands the process of transformation that is taking place. Prayer is the foundation and daily bread upon which this stage of enlightenment depends. Without it, the process is indeed a difficult one.