What is a Mystic?

A mystic is someone who seeks to know God

This may or may not involve religion or conventional definitions of ‘God’. Mystics transgress boundaries and colour outside the lines. They are notoriously difficult to pin down and get a straight answer from. For this reason, mystics are often misunderstood and even feared. At the very least, they tend to be viewed with suspicion, as if their mere presence is a challenge.

And that is exactly the point.

Mystics wake people up

They get under your skin. They show you the truth of your soul, whether you like it or not, whether you ask for it or not. Mystics undermine the status quo and overturn all power structures, all hierarchies. They are the ultimate rebels, the ultimate spiritual warriors. Lauri Ann Lumby brilliantly describes mystics as ‘shit-disturbers’.

A mystic sees reality in a different way. They see through the ego games, the stories and the fear, to the truth and light within.

Hand of Light

What is Real?

In seeking to ‘know God’, a mystic is trying to understand the true nature of reality. It’s not enough to just think about it or believe in a nice story that makes them feel better. Mystics want the Truth. They want to rip away all the bullshit and stand naked in the divine fire and scream with joy as the flames devour every last falsehood from their being.

That may sound crazy to a so-called normal person, but in reality we are all mystics. We are all burning in the heart of life. To see it you only need to lift your eyes from the ground.

You may be a mystic but go by another name: artist, shaman, prophet, visionary, wizard, witch, seer, healer, priest, priestess, or alchemist. The name doesn’t matter. It’s just a label, and if you’re a mystic you know reality can’t be labelled.

What is a mystic?

This is my favourite definition of a mystic from Andrew Harvey:

“A mystic is a king or queen of paradox. A mystic knows that death is not death, life is not life, the body is not the body, and the spirit is not the spirit… The mystic knows that he or she is an eternal being in a dying body, and that this is the supreme experience. To be an eternal being without dying in a body would only be to have one-half of the experience of God. But to be an eternal being in a body is to have both, to have the experience of transcendence and the experience of immanence, both the experience of the Divine emptiness that is creating and the experience of being the creation.

Do you understand the gift?

The gift is death, the gift is time, the gift is pain, the gift is love, the gift is extremity. When you receive the gift full in the blood of the heart you dance as Shiva. You dance as the unborn one… you dance as the liberated one in the complete divine experience, the complete divine madness, which is to be in unity with everything that lives and dies, that has ever lived or died. That is the supreme experience and that is what is being offered to humankind.”

What is the truth?

There is nothing other than God.

A mystic knows this. Not just in their heads or as an intellectual exercise. A mystic knows it in their bones, their blood, in every breath and every heart beat. To be a mystic is to live in the heart of the mystery of Life without turning away from suffering or cruelty or evil or stupidity. To be a mystic is to understand we are all trying to find our way home and to do your best to help.

To be a mystic is to love.


9 thoughts on “What is a Mystic?

  1. I live my life in accordance with a something motto “to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed” but after reading that one from Harvey, it may have some competition. I had no guidance for a long time so I basically wrote my own path as I went along and spent a long time fumbling around in the dark. It is so reassuring to know that I am no longer walking blind through a thick jungle, but actually treading some well worn paths with others walking similar paths nearby calling out from ahead and behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the LINK to Dylan Morrison. He sounds like a lovely person. I have been acquainted with John O’Donohuo for some time and often listen to him when feeling the need to connect with a kindred spirit. Dylan may well become another. In a very selfish way, I feel saddened that John O’ died so young.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John O’Donohue’s books are beautiful and full of wisdom. It was sad that he died when he did, but such is life. We still have his words, so that’s something to be grateful for.

      Dylan Morrison’s blog is a treasure trove of great mystical writing too. Glad I could connect you!


  3. Really good post.

    It’s very hard to describe the transcendent – that which lies beyond being and non-being. The use of words fails us entirely when we try to explain what is called God, who is in the end, the only real thing.

    Enter mystical approach. It is the questing of the inward facilities, that are even beyond-mind, to reach the celestial anchor; to find in utter detachment of external things the Cloud of Unknowing that floats around us and everything eternally. In its disembodied mists we make our own reality and find our Being.

    This is what it means to me at least. In every religion we find this mystical approach, and I tend to be attracted to it first and foremost.

    Glad to have found your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.