Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Experience of the Mystical

The Experience Of The Mystical

“The most profound emotion is the experience of the mystical.” Albert Einstein.
The wisdom of Einstein is remarkable. The physical scientist who treasured the spiritual. The creative thinker who both pushed and understood the limits of human understanding. The most brilliant mind of the past century who asked us to appreciate the experience of the mystical.

To see life as ordinary is boring. It leaves one with a sense of meaninglessness. To look for the mystical, to search for the divine, gives hope and courage, purpose and aliveness. Of course to believe you can fully understand the mystical is arrogant and very shallow. Truth is, the best we can do is appreciate the questions, and be content with not knowing answers to the most important questions of our existence. But in the search of the mystical we place ourselves in appreciation of the magnificence of life, and become open to what has become known as “thinking outside the box”.

How do you search for the mystical? The mystical is all around us, if we have ‘eyes to see, and ears to hear’ as Jesus suggested we needed to develop. Watching plants grow is mystical. That is the secret within gardening. As a young boy I couldn’t understand why my father would go into the garden after work and pull weeds. A successful Judge by day, he would come home, put on old cloths and spend time in his beloved garden. Now with age I can understand what he was doing, because I have found the same love. He was not just “pulling the weeds” he was watching the plants grow, feeling the soil between his fingers, and taking in the entire experience of vegetation growing. It was watching life that intrigued him.Native American Indians have always been special to me. It is their spirituality that I admire most, their peacefulness with the cycle of life. They respectfully worshipped the animals they killed for food. They walked quietly upon the earth disturbing as little as possible. They lived with such dignity, even though they were no match for the weapons and savagery of the European who came from the East.

Mystery is all about us. It is in the sunset. It is in a babies smile. It is present when humans laugh. It is seeing the ordinary with fresh eyes. It is observing life and appreciating the majesty that is always present. Human emotions are mysterious. Permitting yourself to explore your feelings is one of the most joyful ways we can experience the mystical. Yet many of us are afraid of our feelings because we do not know how to handle the range of our feelings. We feel both harsh, angry feelings, and the soft and tender sides as well.

We fear vulnerability, not realizing that humans are strongest when they are vulnerable. Being vulnerable is being open to the mystical. To be open to life is to be vulnerable and strong, to attempt to control others is ultimately weak. To be totally present with everything that is happening is to experience the mystic. This I believe is what Einstein recommended. To be open to life and the magical forces that are present is the mystic’s path.

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