Once a year, I add a new page to my blog. My page tends to highlight a post I have made, or learning that I have acquired, or as this one shall, the journey I have started on.
This past year has been full of ups and downs, and many times flipped itself inside out and outside in. Nothing wrong with that. Life does these things. They’re to be expected.
I learned much about my marriage, about my faith, and about the otherworld that lays over our physical world. Things I knew, I re-examined to learn anew, and many things I re-examined prior to discarding entirely.
Now, I’m not an advocate for throwing out and forgetting everything a person knows to learn to do it in a specific and new way. Nor will we find that in scriptures. Or in nature, God’s first and lesser understood revelation to us of who He is. However. I am a definite advocate for discarding anything that doesn’t line up with the teachings found within the scriptures. And one of the things that many churches in today’s modern rendition of christianity is a “stick to our understanding of the book” philosophy that also cannot be found in scriptures. Another is an interpretation of the need for a relationship and that christianity isn’t a religion. Also not found in scriptures.
Then I started looking into Christian Mysticism. The people who are for it, the people against it, what it can be literally defined as, and what it means to be one or not. I found the same thing I find within most of the realm of christianity. There’s the spot on theology, then there’s the horribly flawed theology. There’s the fruitcakes and nutcases, and then there are the people who are dead on, solid, individuals. In fact, the very definition of Christian Mysticism is the very essence of Christianity. I pull the quote from CS Lewis off of the page of a presby minister.
“one who seeks to experience the person, presence, and activities of Jesus.”
I mean wow. Wow. That is deep. And to proceed with an explanation of this, I quote Brad Strait, same author who posted the above quote.
The term “Christian Mystic” confuses many people, including Christians, as they fearfully push everything mystical into new age or eastern religion. As in any religious stream, mystical practices are broad and can push beyond what is normative, faithful, or best. For example, I feel that some writers embrace eastern forms of meditation and a overly-broad ecumenicalism. As always, there are dangers and wisdom is required.
Then there’s Friar Bob, who says this in caution to those who search for what it means to be a Christian Mystic.
As to testing everything, when I study the saints, I see a whole lot of junk there. The saints did a whole lot of stupid stuff in their efforts to abide in Christ. They tried everything so we can learn from them. However, most of their efforts should not be repeated.
But I also see the immortal diamond there. So I dig the diamond out of the mud and cherish their gift to us. We are all frail human beings after all.
So there are amazing things out there to study, but when it comes right back to the basics, a good friend and solid pastor had this to say to me. “Read the Red, and Pray for Power.” This gets us back to the very words of Christ, and the things he taught.
So I began a journey of the heart, soul, and spirit, to begin seeing what I can learn now, and this, keeping in theme with my blog, involves delving deeper. But it goes into a literal journey within both, oneself, and a huge shift into the otherworld as well. A Christian Mystic who gets some right and some wrong, Ken Wilson, if I recall correctly, asked a very difficult question for me to answer that set me thinking hard. “Where do you go when you pray?” Now, most people will automatically assume he is asking for a physical place.But when you begin studying things in light of the spiritual traditions, the information leads to thinking of prayer as being based in the heart, not in the mind. So then the question becomes, in terms of physical body, how to train yourself to descend from your head to your heart in prayer. From that, we also have to learn how to transition ourselves into the secret place. See, when Psalm 91 talks about the secret place, it’s talking about a literal place we can go. PLOT TWIST!!! It’s in the Spirit Realm. Transitioning there is difficult, especially as for so long, in modern christianity, we haven’t taught it or how to do it. I’m not saying that it’s been lost for all these centuries.. blah blah blah. I’m saying that its there for those who look at the scriptures and are willing to look at it from fresh eyes, but I’m also saying that it has been suppressed in north America because of “new agey” stuff and cultic and occultic religions hijacking the spiritual practices.
We are commanded and encouraged all throughout the scriptures to come before the throne of God in prayer. And people claim to all the time. My experience and the things I have seen, show me that they are generally speaking metaphorically because they obviously aren’t. When you talk to them about that phrase in a literal sense, they get uptight. Many of them talk about not experiencing God, just taking the whole thing on faith.. and then get mad at me when I point out that the entirety of the scriptures speaks of experiencing God.
So. Now I have set background, here is my journey. I am choosing to delve deeper, to learn, and experience my Lord, as the scriptures speak to doing. I am choosing a path of learning that will set me apart from my fellow christians even when it’s hard. Why? Because I want it all. I want this thing. I want to know God literally, and personally. Not just through the Bible, though that is my starting point and measuring stick for all of life, but I want to know Him like Moses did. Like Abraham did. Like Enoch did. I want to literally walk with Him. Even if I don’t see Him face to face, but sorta in an across kinda way, like when He revealed Himself and His presence to me by allowing me to see His back as He walked among us in service at church. I mean, think about the wonder of it all. We talk about loving Jesus, and loving God, but do we really? Most of us don’t know Him half as well as we ought to. And I know I am guilty of that. But I think, personally, that a habit that the Christian Mystics have to have, and that all Christians should, is to seek times of prayer constantly. For the scriptures say to pray, without ceasing.