What's a Mystic, Anyway? (In My Humble Opinion)
Even though I was always intrigued by the mystical, I never considered myself a mystic. That seemed a little too…I dunno. Special. Then I realized that being mystical is oh-so Christian.
My first year of seminary destroyed my faith. This is not a bad thing. A destroyed faith is a faith that can be carefully reconstructed, especially if the demolition process is thoughtful and well executed. Such is the case with my seminary experience, though it didn’t feel that way at the time.
“The time” is a funny thing to say, now that I think about it, because it’s still happening. We’re still very much in construction mode over here, and we still find surprises in the form of embedded theologies and belief systems that do more harm than good. And, surprisingly, look nothing like Jesus.
One of the things that all that intellectualism you encounter is seminary is, ironically, to make room for the experiential. This happens because one of the things you discover in seminary is how this westernized faith tradition we call Christianity has been sterilized, wiped clean of all the messy, undefinable, weird ways we can experience the living God, the Holy Sophia, that divine Shekinah. The faith we practice here in the United States is a hyper-masculinized faith stripped clean of the blood and guts Jesus who got up close and personal with his followers to the very point of spitting on them.
This separates us from our actual experience of God. I’ve been having experiences of God all my life, with the earliest I can remember being when I was about three years old, and Jesus stopped by for a visit. I knew this glorious, warm, golden presence to be real and I knew it to be Jesus. But when I got to Sunday school, I wondered who the sad looking guy was in the picture, because that sure wasn’t the same presence that came to visit me on the road by my house that day. Also, the guy in the picture looked very pale. So I figured he must be sick.
Since that first time Jesus visited, I’ve had many encounters that I can only recognize or describe as divine. But because the tradition of my faith was that these things were “witchy” (which, by the way, is really just a way to demonize women and our intuitive, naturally psychic powers) so I relegated them to some other bucket in my brain, shoved them down and ignored them when they kept happening.
Until I got to seminary, and two things happened. First, I started reading about quantum physics for shits and giggles (and because, you know, you don’t have enough to read when you’re in seminary) and second, I started deconstructing the theology that had been embedded in my brain and my psyche and realized that much of it was utter bullshit. I even realized that there were things I didn’t intellectually believe, but to which my body still had a visceral reaction as if I did believe it.
But as I laid out all those glittering pieces of my faith, I was able to re-order them. I took out the bullshit and replaced it with the beauty of what I’d learned in quantum physics, from Eastern Orthodoxy, from the apocrypha, from the feminine divine. And what I discovered was a perfect representation of my experience of God, and it was mystical and delicious.
And the best news was that I wasn’t alone! People all over the world, I learned, were having weird, crazy experiences with the divine, too. Whether we call those happenings angels, or spirit guides, or miracles, or healings, or psychic knowing, or whatever, all over the world, and even in the Bible, we can find evidence of this holy presence disrupting our everyday, physical world and doing something magical.
So call it, like Einstein did, “spooky actions from a distance”, or call it your guardian angel or God, but I’m here to tell you that the holy Shekinah is a real and present thing, and it’s here for you to experience, too.
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My experience with the divine presence has awakened me to the fact that I am, among other things, what is called an empath. When I coach people, I use this empathic ability to help you discover your blocks and obstacles, uncover new ways of being with yourself, and to get you closer to your soul. Schedule a free call to learn more.