Rosicrucian Writings Online
By Rodman R. Clayson, Grand Master
[From The Rosicrucian Digest August 1948]
I went about the streets and the squares of the city seeking
Thee, and I found Thee not, because in vain I sought without
for Him who was within myself.--St. Augustine.
THE mystic places a value upon his experience. It has given him knowledge, it tempers his tastes and develops discrimination, because his reason has something to draw upon. He devotes time to reflection and analysis, and there takes place a state of balance between introversion and extroversion. Through meditation, he becomes more intimate with self, and has a realization that the consciousness seems to be poised between the world within and the world without. He finds pleasure in the internal operations of his mind, the values of virtue and conscience. The feelings and impulses of intuition are inviting and alluring mysteries. Within himself the student of mysticism is able to find that which is less transient and more satisfying. He interprets the impressions of the self in the light of his knowledge and his experience of the objective world, and he does not discard his empirical or worldly knowledge. The student of mysticism comes to have a desire to serve mankind in some manner. This service need not be of a spiritual nature, but may be given in some creative or productive capacity. To accomplish this, he uses his worldly knowledge and experience.
In his desire to express his comprehension of God, of the universe, and of being, the mystical student analyzes and frames his ideas in terms of his worldly experiences. It is the aim of such student to awaken his inner consciousness as much as he can; he endeavors to permit it to direct him objectively. In disciplining the physical body, he seeks to live a natural and normal life. Through mysticism one learns the way by which he can attain a consciousness of intimate relationship with God. By experiencing Infinite attunement, man becomes exalted in spirit; he is inspired to pursue a conduct free from error and ignorance.
To be is the prime duty of man. Words hint at this reality, but do not explain it. Such an inner realization is a state of being: it is not a set of words; it is something to experience. The word God is meaningless unless one can contact the Absolute. Long ago, Philosopher Kant revealed that reason cannot grasp the reality of God. Another immortal philosopher has stated that God is an experience, an idea having no intellectual definition. The mystic desires to have this experience, and mysticism endeavors to reveal the way. The intellect cannot definitely know that God, the Absolute, exists; however, there can well from within oneself the conscious realization of Divinity. To have such an awareness, the mystic turns his attention inward toward the center of his own being, so that he may penetrate the sphere of the spiritual.
Personal Happiness Amplified
The means of realizing God, the study of the consciousness, and the study of the mind, bring a reward to the sincere and conscientious searcher. Probably no other subject is so little understood as that of experiencing a realization of God; yet there is no other subject which means so much, for it truly holds the key to man's happiness. Such an experience brings infinite knowledge and understanding.
Mystical enlightenment can mean mastery for the individual. Through mastery, grief, fear, and disease are relegated to their subordinate places in human nature. Through the knowledge that mysticism imparts, the student enjoys full liberation of the higher and creative faculties by which he may achieve all desires that are consistent with his mystical development and enlightenment. It is obvious, then, that the practice of mysticism amplifies the personal happiness of the individual.
The student of mysticism is obliged to do more than to utilize what he has learned for his own personal welfare, regardless of how much initiative and ambition he may have. It is incumbent upon him to help to appease the hunger of those who are spiritually starved. Individual mystical enlightenment must be expanded into the world of men. The application of this enlightenment for one's own welfare depends upon one's relationship to the world of reality. He who has had a mystical experience, and who, perhaps, has momentarily perceived the Absolute, will seek to symbolize that experience in some way or in some object by which his physical and spiritual being may be enraptured. The beauties of mystical enlightenment are to be had in utilizing its tenets in the world of mortal consciousness.
The mystic learns to develop an isolation of consciousness--that silence through which he becomes en rapport with the Cosmic. Oftentimes this is difficult to accomplish. It requires will to force distractions from one's consciousness in this physical world of temporal influences. The mystic must have courage; he must be bold and daring, and have the strength of his convictions. However, escape from objectivity can be only temporary, for the objective world claims its own.
Man is like a mirror. He must reflect the light of knowledge, just as light is reflected by the mirror. Man must not confine within himself the light of mystical knowledge. While alone, the individual can find the means for intensifying concentration upon spiritual ends, but this should be carried on only until such time as he can reflect to the world of men the light which he has received.
One who aspires to mystical enlightenment will gain development and understanding from such study in the same proportion as the effort he expends in bringing about the desired realization. He who pursues the path of mysticism is seeking God through his inner being. He sharpens his consciousness so that it may be receptive to finer sensations and impressions. Sensitizing of the consciousness helps him to enjoy a realization of higher mystical experience. His appreciation for such experience cannot be expressed in words, and it is not stimulated by what he may objectively sense. His whole being is stimulated by what he feels inwardly.
Asceticism and self-abnegation are not sanctioned by true mysticism; neither does it deny comfort or reasonable luxury. It does, however, advocate the acquisition of mystical enlightenment. This permits the mystical student to live his life here and now according to Cosmic and natural laws. The pursuit of mysticism gives power to the seeker. Power is a concentration of energy of things or conditions, but is purposeless in itself. It is the mind behind the power that puts power into use.
Man is said to be the sum total of his personality traits and character. If his ideas are founded on a philosophy which is idealistic, and he seeks to know and understand himself and the world about him to the fullest extent of his ability, and attempts to live a life which is contributing to the general welfare of mankind, his total mental constitution will reflect this viewpoint. He who aspires to mystical enlightenment is more likely to assert his individuality than the one who simply follows the crowd and conforms to accepted standards of the society in which he lives. The mystic has a vision beyond that of the immediate demands of his environment. Obviously, then, the mystic is going to be different; for, in asserting his individuality, he lives purposefully and learns that which truly represents the real objective of life. Such individuals are outstanding among their fellow men.
Those who have a true understanding of mysticism, and practice its principles, are able to transcend the material limitations which they meet in everyday circumstances. They have not necessarily solved all the problems of the world, nor all of the problems with which it is their lot to deal, but because of the enlightenment of their knowledge--a knowledge which has become theirs through a source or channel higher than that of physical perception--they have been able to raise themselves above the limitations of the physical world in which they find themselves. It is not to be construed that the controlling of physical factors about us is the true purpose. It is possible, however, that a closer realization of the ultimate purpose comes through realizing that the true values of reality, which man seeks, lie outside the realm of the physical. Such understanding causes the mystic to take his true place in the scheme of things.
One broadens his concepts through the acquisition of mystical knowledge. In so doing, he gradually reaches the state where he is not wholly dependent upon the knowledge of sense perception. Mystical knowledge must be approached in humbleness and sincerity, with a sincere desire to utilize it for the benefit of mankind and in the accomplishment of its ideals. One who lives mysticism will express it in sound judgment based upon true values. The mystic does not find expression in vainglory or egoism. He has not approached mysticism with the idea of merely being able to prove to himself that such knowledge is obtainable or possible. Because of his understanding, and in accordance with the depth of his knowledge and wisdom, the mystical student radiates from himself the assurance of God and Cosmic Law. He seeks illumination that his efforts may materialize. With mystical enlightenment, he receives renewed vitality. Through his knowledge of realities, he is able to cope with the events of the day. He discerns the real from the illusory. He has found mysticism to be practical. He is aware of the fact that it is the function of mysticism to increase, not diminish, the total efficiency and wisdom and steadfastness of those who practice it. True mystics enter more completely than ever before into the life of the society in which they live. Their knowledge teaches them to see the world in its true proportion, discerning the eternal beauty beyond and beneath apparent ruthlessness. Mysticism educates its followers in a charity free from sentimentalism; it confers on them unconquerable hope, and the assurance of the true and real values of life.
Mysticism, then, is the building up of our being to a higher level than that of the physical and material limitations about us, to that point where we find ourselves in proper relationship and attunement with our Creator.
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