It took me a long long time to realize what mysticism was, and that I was a mystic.
Oddly enough, you MAY NOT BELIEVE THIS, BUT...
If I said that I was a mystic in the Bible belt, in the company of some of those people who I get the feeling that most people reading this blog don't understand and can't even believe exist, they would probably eye me strangely, and move stealthily towards the edge of their seats in much the same way that...
You get the point.
I had my first mystical experience when I was 14 years old.
It was pretty exciting, and did not scare me at all.
It was outside my piano teacher's house, while waiting for a lesson.
I was standing underneath his weeping willow, and all of a sudden...
No, the heavens did NOT open, and I did NOT see a vision of the Father, the Son, etc etc.
Something about the structure of that willow's leaves (are they leaves ?).
The... MATHEMATICAL regularity of those willow leaves looked a lot like what I saw in Van Gogh's paintings.
So, obviously, TO ME, I was seeing this scene LIKE Van Gogh had seen it.
I was seeing LIKE Van Gogh saw.
(The mystical experience was in the WAY that I was seeing, not in seeing LIKE Van Gogh.)
Lots of people think that Van Gogh was a loony. Probably Van Gogh thought he was a loony too. His family.
I think that Van Gogh had mystical experiences of SEEING THE WORLD in a DIFFERENT WAY. Particularly nature, of course. And that unfortunately, he did NOT have access to a mentor who could help him understand the nature of his gift, and his severely... PROTESTANT upbringing must have made it very very difficult for him to understand what was happening to him. Like another man. Carl Gustav Jung.
Of course... this is ANOTHER form the question of POINT OF VIEW takes.
Consciousness, if you like.
Which brings us back to Doctor John's post on ketchup a short while ago, and his commentary on direct vs indirect experience. You cannot learn mysticism from a book, not from reading ABOUT it.
There is NO MORE DIRECT experience than mystical experience, I believe. There is no ABOUT in mystical experience.
(What is the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN I believe and I think ? Another.. rabbit hole.)
These days, my mystical experiences have become an integrated part of my existence.
This WAY OF SEEING is like a warp that goes through my entire existence. It bears my.. DAILY, ROUTINE EXISTENCE up. Gives it intense meaning.
It.. scares some people.
It used to scare me. Not any more.
Of course, one of the BIGGEST PROBLEMS with mystical experiences is that they exist at the very spot where language.. comes together ? Fails ?
You can't talk ABOUT them.
So... what do you do ?
You make the words do what mystical experience does.
You.. LET the words do what mystical experience does.
You let the.. notes, the fingers do what mystical experience does.
A translation ? Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know.
One last thing.
Lots of people seem to think that mysticism=God.
Na. It's a lot more complicated than that. A LOT more.
Who knows ?... YOU may be having mystical experiences, but you don't recognize them as such.
Are they mystical EVEN IF YOU DON'T RECOGNIZE THEM AS SUCH ?
Those rabbit holes...