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What Christian Mystics Know That You Don't

by Father Peter Bowes


There is nothing mysterious about the word “mystical.” Mystical means simply having an experience beyond the five senses. When you experience love, it is an example of a mystical experience. When you feel a presence within you when you pray or meditate, that is a mystical experience. The feeling you get when you open to a consciousness that is much deeper or higher than you are used to is a mystical experience.

A mystical experience changes you at the very core of your being. What you used to know and think has been replaced with something higher and more profound than you could think up with your mind. When an emotional problem is healed in you or lifted from you, it is difficult to conceive of how that happens. Yet, many people have had the experience of not being troubled about a particular fear or condition any longer. The problem or illness just went away. Others have felt a Cosmic presence of the Divine and have been moved to tears or released from a burden that is often unexplainable to the conscious mind. Experiences like this are what mystics experience every day. To the average observer, these experiences are extraordinary and rare. But more and more people are reporting experiences similar to what the mystics of past times have written about.

The Christian mystics are dedicated to precisely these kinds of experiences that cannot be scientifically proven but are mystically known and understood. Their experiences of God within and other manifestations of the Divine Being, like light in and around the body, healings of various physical ailments and profound peace filling the heart and mind, are common and normal. The experience of the Christ Consciousness has other names in different religious traditions. But they have the same transformative effect on the recipient in all cultures: joy, liberation from the constraints of the physical world, and profound love and peace filling the person and emanating out to others. Real spiritual experience brings true wisdom.

A Christian mystic is filled with the presence of Christ or, more universally, the love of God fills their soul and shines through their being. Most saints and sages regardless of their backgrounds are mystics. They have peered into the inner world in meditation, devotion and prayer and have had the experience of being embraced by the Being of God that resides within each person. Whether a person believes in such things or not, the mystics see God within and know that everyone has this Divine center within them. It is not an opinion or a belief, as mystics are not that interested in such things. Real experience brings real transformation and complete change to a human being. This is why those who really know carry such a presence of peace that flows through them. The mystics and saints are the ones who have moved the consciousness of the world and opened the hearts of those seeking to the truth that God is within.


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