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Mysticism Overview

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Green Gaia

Veteran Member

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Mysticism is the pursuit of achieving communion with or conscious awareness of God (the divine ultimate reality) through direct, personal experience, intuition or insight; the belief in the existence of realities beyond ordinary perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible through personal experience; or the belief that such experiences are an important source of knowledge. In the Hellenistic world, "mystical" referred to secret religious rituals, particularly those of mystery religions.

Another definition sees mysticism as an attempt to derive some wider meaning from personal experience, surpassing everyday human understanding and tapping insights normally hidden from our consciousness. While usually understood in a religious context, a mystical experience may happen to anyone, does not require religious training, can occur unbidden and without preparation, and might not be understood as religious at all. (James, 1902) In alternate circumstances, such experiences may be interpreted as scientific or artistic inspiration, or even dismissed as a psychological disorder.

Mystics sometimes claim to experience intuitive knowledge of transcendent dimensions beyond the phenomenal or material objects of ordinary perception. The mystic see things in a way not part of ordinary experience. William James used the words "ineffable" (which means that something cannot or should not be spoken) and "noetic" (from the Greek νοῦς nous: "relating to consciousness or intuition"), to describe the mystical experience.

Mysticism may also refer to epistemological mysticism, where non-rational methods are used to arrive at beliefs and the acceptance of such beliefs as knowledge.
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