Many people believe mystics are dreamers, out of touch with reality, or even full-on crazy. To understand the real world is to be rational and have your feet glued to the ground. You may look to the stars in wonder, but always remember the truth: the universe is meaningless and you don’t matter. There is no God, and if you want hope or a reason to live, then look no further than science. Your salvation will be found in the loving arms of materialism which will provide all you could ever hope to possess, so long as you can afford to pay for it. If not, tough!
But hey, it doesn’t matter if you’re poor or sick or on the wrong end of a gun or a needle or disillusioned and disenfranchised or plain old fed up – you’ll be dead soon and so long as somebody somewhere is making a profit out of your misery, then who are you to complain. Nothing matters.
We have this back to front and upside down. Everything you think is real or true is an illusion. It is only mystics who truly know reality. Mysticism is passion for the Real. It isn’t unusual or paranormal. It isn’t even that mysterious. It is simply misunderstood.
I want to normalise mysticism. Not by changing the nature of mysticism – by explaining it away using neuroscience, or rationalising it as some kind of psychological compensation for the human condition – but by changing our understanding of what it means to be normal.
As Erich Fromm wrote, it is not the neurotic person with whom we should be concerned, but the normal person. At least the neurotic struggles to adjust to society. Through their symptoms they resist conformity to a system of control they know will all but destroy them if they surrender to its power.
The normal person is well-adjusted; they fit in, they even thrive. But as Aldous Huxley explains in Brave New World Revisited:
‘They are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish “the illusion of individuality,” but in fact they have been to a great extent de-individualised. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity.’
To be normal is to be in a state of arrested development. Normality now equals Narcissism. We glory in our egos. We indulge every whim. Go ahead, take that extra slice of cake. You’re worth it!
Return to Sanity
We all experience moments of heightened reality: the clouds part, the light changes, a magpie erupts from the branches of a tree and your mind is captured in flight, soaring over the landscape, your vision expanded, heart pumping fierce passion at the glory of existence.
These moments are called peak experiences and they happen spontaneously, liberating us from mundane reality. They are normal and a sign of psychological health, of sanity.
To be trapped inside an encrusted narcissistic shell desperately defending your tiny corner of the universe, building an edifice of meaning from borrowed sentiments and manic consumption – that is insanity.
We are all Mystics
Human consciousness is self-reflective. We know that we know. We can observe ourselves doing and feeling and thinking. This self-reflective quality creates the illusion that the self is an object, we then live inside that illusion without realising.
During peak experiences the illusion falls away: we are in the moment, in the flow or the zone, we come alive, we fall in love…
Our consciousness shifts and expands into Oneness. In these moments we can recognise our true identity and see through the illusion into the true nature of reality. With practise, this vision of reality becomes normal. We recognise who we really are.
Mystics aren’t freaks, they are simply ahead of the curve.
We are all mystics.
A revolution is underway. We are experiencing an unprecedented shift in consciousness. At the dawn of the Integral Age humanity is awakening to the Real.
The mystics are coming!
Join the revolution and free your inner mystic.
Read: What is a Mystic?