It is fair to say that many folks today are abandoning traditional religion in favor of a deeper, more contemplative spiritual life. Mysticism is becoming more mainstream, and religious dogma is less likely to be accepted without question.
Whatever the spiritual discipline or path—Sufism, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, Buddhism, Taoism, Gnosticism, yoga, mystical Christianity, the Kabbala, or perhaps your own unique inner path—they all reflect one universal journey that leads to a unitive goal. More and more people are now ready to embark on this journey. They are ready to walk the mystical path.
This can be extremely difficult to do in our often frenetic modern world, however. Invite an enlightened man to take on a $2,500-a-month mortgage, three kids, a dog and cat, a wife who nags, a repetitive boring job and an angry boss, insurance bills, credit card bills, taxes, and more, and see if enlightenment lasts. If you think you are enlightened, try raising a teenager.
Like Helen Schucman (scribe of A Course in Miracles), we must withstand continual tests and trials along the way before we arrive at a place where God is all we know, all we see, and all we love. Acceptance and forgiveness can easily be lost in the tangled web of relationships that hamper our progress on our journey. We may think we are beyond judgment and then, unexpectedly, we make a judgment—perhaps not as quickly as previously, but a judgment nonetheless. We may think we have achieved forgiveness, but the ego often slips in the back door when we aren’t looking and pulls us back into its world of illusion.
Walking The Gentle Path of Mysticism
Despite these challenges, the mystical path is a gentle path that can lead you out of the ego world and into Oneness. Ultimately, it is an easy journey because it ends where it begins—in Unity. Mysticism is, by its very nature, welcoming and affirming, rewarding and fulfilling. It makes no demands. There are no pledges to sign, no dues to pay. There are no rules or regulations. There are no magical formulas, no mysteries, no secrets, no oaths, no incantations, no rites, no rituals, no dogma, and no creeds. Relax, take a deep breath. Mysticism is free.
When you walk the mystical path, you need not proselytize. Mysticism is not about converting or being in competition with any thought system. It involves no missionary effort and no saving of lost souls, because no one is lost. There are only those who know, and those who are sleeping and will someday awaken. In some ways, we are all like seeds long dormant; when properly nourished, we spring back to life.
Walking the mystical path is simply a matter of “listening to” and following guidance—of seeing the insanity of the world, and then choosing not to play the world’s game. When revelation replaces the illusion of a separate ego self, you gain everything and lose nothing, making it easy to share—to live for, and with, God and neighbor. Indeed, it is one of your pleasant obligations on the path to help awaken those who sleep—not by shaking them awake, but by giving a gentle nudge in the right direction.
When you walk the mystical path, you identify with the whole of mankind, nature, animals, the Earth, music, the mind, the heart. You are not against anything or anyone. You have no agenda, only a sense of purpose. You acknowledge no opposites and no enemies. Since we are all One, there is no need to attack those who see things differently. Mysticism attracts without persuading.
The Mystical Experience
In fact, mystical experience is so simple that it is easily missed, misinterpreted, or misunderstood in today’s hectic world. It lies hidden in most “ordinary” experiences and in every part of the whole. It also lies quietly in the heart and naturally finds creative expression in the most ordinary things—in babies, pets, plants, art, music, work, play—indeed, in all of life.
Be spontaneous; be humorous; have fun; laugh frequently. Sing and dance and play your way along your journey. In possession of the moment, know that the moment is everything. Be patient and kind, and value your relationships. But always recognize the value of silence and solitude. Remember, no one can be truly alone when the Spirit is always present.
The mystical path leads you to the realization that all there is, is life. Life is eternal and you have nothing to fear. At death, only the illusory shell of your body and your ego self is lost, and in this loss, you find freedom. The prison doors are opened and your ego self loosens its grasp on Spirit—or Spirit loosens its grip on the ego self. This is the message of resurrection—a joyous affirmation of the intrinsic beauty of life and an unequivocal denial of death.
As a dewdrop slips from the leaf into the river and the river slips into the ocean, so mystics slip into the All to become the ocean. Having found the last “piece of the puzzle,” the whole picture is revealed. What an incredible thing—to be a child of God. What an incredible thing it is to be!
©2018 by Jon Mundy. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Weiser Books, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser LLC.
A Course in Mysticism and Miracles: Begin Your Spiritual Adventure
by Jon Mundy PhD
Mysticism is the core of all true religions, and its teachings offer a way, or a path, to living in harmony with the Divine. Both informative and inspirational, A Course in Mysticism and Miracles can motivate us to do the work required to develop a contemplative life. Its insights reveal that peace is available to us all.
About the Author
Jon Mundy, PhD is an author, lecturer; publisher of Miracles Magazine www.miraclesmagazine.org, and Executive Director of All Faiths Seminary International, in NYC. A retired university lecturer, he taught classes in Philosophy, Religion, and Psychology. He is co-founder, with Rabbi Joseph Gelberman, of the New Seminary for the training of Interfaith Ministers; and cofounder, along with Rev. Dr. Diane Berke, of Interfaith Fellowship with services in Cami Hall across from Carnegie Hall, in New York City. He also appears on occasion as Dr. Baba Jon Mundane -- a standup philosopher comedian. Visit Dr. Mundy's website at www.drjonmundy.com