Thomas Ramey Watson

Embracing Christian mysticism again

In the West, the modern age (meaning the 16th to mid-20th centuries) was not only ignorant of, but actually hostile to, mysticism.

As Theodore Roszak has put it, “The Enlightenment held mysticism up for ridicule as the worst offense against science and reason.” Still today, both education and religion are often hostile to mysticism. Fundamentalism by definition is antimystical or distorts mysticism, and much of liberal theology and religion is so academic and left-brained that it numbs and ignores the right brain, which is our mystical brain.

Seminaries teach few practices to access our mysticism.

This is why many find religion so boring — it lacks the adventure and inner exploration that our souls yearn for. As St. John of the Cross said, “Launch out into the deep.”

This launching into the depths — into the deep ocean of the unconscious and of the Great Self, which is connected to all things and to the Creator — often gets stymied by Western religious dogma, guilt trips and institutional churchiness. The mystic gets starved.

Patriarchal culture by itself is unable to tap into the deep feminine aspects of Divine W

isdom and Compassion and the heart.

But the mystics, male and fe

male, do not present a one-sided reality, as Patriarchy does.

The yin/yang, female/male dialectic is alive and well in the mystical tradition.

God as Mother is honored along with God

as Father. Through this, mystics seek wisdom, not mere knowledge.

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As someone who has long considered himself within the Christian mystical tradition I agree. This is a good thing.

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