Depths of Truth
“The true mystic has insight into depths of truth that are unplumbed by the discursive intellect.” – William James
There is a system of thought that has been coming to me lately from many sources. It is known as Theosophy. Those holding this world view believe that truth about God and the world is revealed primarily through mystical insight, and that every religious tradition has this kernel of truth within it. Whether Christian, Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist or the American Indian, the mystical experience is the same. It was the experience of Lao Tzu, the old master of Taoism, Buddha, the Roman Catholic Meister Eckhart, and the Protestant Boehme. The words of Jesus “to have seen me is to have seen God,” and again, “I and the father are one” is pure mysticism.
Many letters, emails, have asked me to say more about Mysticism.
Here are some general observations for this is the “spine” that holds Theosophy together.
Mysticism is the recovery of the now, of the immediate. It is the recovery of intuition, of feeling. Experiencing God has nothing to do with anything in the past, or the future, it is now. God IS, not WAS.
Mysticism refuses to deify Reason or Rationalism, spelled with capital R’s. It is Carl Jung writing in his autobiography that “reason and rationalism are the two major diseases of our time.” It is the brilliant scientist Julian Huxley writing that “we must repudiate our modern idolatry of science. Science is only the name for a particular system of knowledge and understanding acquired by particular methods. It must come to terms with other systems of knowledge acquired by other methods, the aesthetic and the intuitive, the subconscious, imaginative and visionary… or in other words, the way of Mysticism.”
Experience is the key word in mysticism. Truth is revealed through experience, rather than through doctrine, dogma or creed. It is reliance on spiritual intuition and personal experience in the discovery of a wisdom that gives a new vision and an understanding of reality.
It is the mystic William Blake writing:
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
and a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour.”
In the mystic eye, the many things of the universe, including you and me, are all God and divine. As a Zen Master put it: “to watch a child pouring milk into a glass is to see God pouring God into God”…or as the Roman Catholic Meister Eckhart said: “the eye by which I see God is the same eye by which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye are one and the same.” And again: “seeking God is like riding on an ox looking for an ox to ride.”
The bridge from dogma to reliance only on inner experience is a difficult one for many to cross. Dogma becomes believed. It is hypostatized, as many protestants hypostatize the bible, making it a supreme authority regardless of its hundreds of contradictions and thousands of illegitimate and contradictory interpretations.
“The Kingdom of God is within you” said Jesus. “Be a lamp unto yourselves” said Buddha.” “I am nourished only by the mother-spirit” (the Tao), wrote the mystic Lao Tzu. Carl Jung made the observation that “the creative mystic has always been a thorn in the side of the dogmatic and creedal church, but it is to the mystic that we owe all that is best in religion and humanity.”
“Man has need of a mystical supplement of the soul, and he must acquire it before it is too late… to awaken this supplement of the soul.” – Louis De Broglie, Nobel prize, Physics, from his “The Mechanism Demands a Mysticism.”
(This is the first of my series on this subject.)