What Is Mysticism?

Christian mysticism - Wikipedia

Mysticism can be described in many ways, and it doesn’t always involve “far out” things. At a basic level, it is a belief in things that are currently beyond human comprehension. Certainly this includes things like palm reading, numerology, fortune telling and far far more. In general it is involved in human transformation and improvement.

What was considered mystical in the past may mystical teachings of jesus not be considered mystical today. For example, beliefs such that the world is round, the earth rotates around the sun, and diseases may be caused by small living organisms we cannot see (bacteria for example) were beyond most human’s comprehensions a mere few centuries ago, despite being well accepted as fact today.

The way the term is used has changed over time. In early Christian tradition, it referred to secret Christian rituals. It was often used in conjunction with the bible and biblical traditions, although the term is far less frequently used in that context today. In more modern meaning and usage, it refers to new discourse and thoughts in which science and religion are separated and discrete.

Today, the term is used in a far narrower sense. It is an overall term for any non-rational and possibly crackpot world view. Now rational does not imply that the various forms of mysticism cannot make sense, just that we cannot understand them today; how they work and why.

An example of mysticism is the field of astrology. We can briefly define it as a form of divination that asserts there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and the human experience. Of course at a basic level, this is obvious. For example, when it is dark (caused by movements of the moon, earth, and sun), humans tend to sleep.

However astrology goes well beyond the obvious and provable or disprovable. Interestingly, astrology was once considered a hard science. Today, despite its vast popularity as evidenced by extensive newspaper coverage, most consider it an amusing pseudoscience at best.

Palmistry is another form of mysticism. The thought that the shape of the hand and lines on the palm can profoundly influence one’s life and actually predict future events cannot be proved or disproved. Interestingly, it has been practiced for thousands of years. At the basic level, it is true. For example if one is born with profoundly deformed hands, there are certain things that will be difficult or impossible to do.