Mysticism

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A Mystical Mind

George MacDonald wrote:

“A mystical mind is one which, having perceived that the highest expression of which the truth admits, lies in the symbolism of nature and the human customs that result from human necessities, prosecutes thought about truth so embodied by dealing with the symbols themselves after logical forms. This is the highest mode of conveying the deepest truth; and the Lord himself often employed it, as, for instance, in the whole passage ending with the words, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!” – George MacDonald (2012-05-17). Unspoken Sermons Series I., II., and II. (Kindle Locations 685-688).

Upon first blush, what does the word “mysticism” conjure up in your mind? Do you see some kind of aged figure dressed in robes casting spells of some kind? The truth is that you know more mystics than you realize and if you are reading this, you are probably one yourself. I’ll let a commenter named “Thomas” over at the website TempleStudy.com  explain:Read Full Post

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A Model of Mormon Spiritual Experience

Here are a few excerpts from a document titled A Model of Mormon Spiritual Experience by Kevin Christensen. It’s pretty fantastic and has some wonderful things to ponder and many interesting observations. I highly recommend a reading of the entire thing because it’s all really great stuff, these are just a few of my favorite parts. I’m definitely interested in reading more Kevin Christensen!


Numinous Experience p. 3-4
In a classic study, The Idea of the Holy, Rudolf Otto studied the characteristics of a type of religious encounter that he named the numinous. Ninian Smart sums up numinous experience as “a mystery which is fearful, awe-inspiring, . . . and fascinating.”

“But above all, the sense of presence which confronts a person in the numinous experience is majestic: marvelous power and glory; in their rather different ways, the experiences of Arjuna, Isaiah, Job, Paul, and Mohammed are all numinous in character.” (The Idea of Holy, Rudolf Otto)


Combining Numinous and Mystic Experience p.6
Here, I believe, is an essential distinguishing characteristic of Mormonism—the blend of the numinous and the mystic. This explains the Orthodox discomfort with the Mormon idea ofRead Full Post

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You Might be a Mystic if…

Just thought I’d share an old quote I came across again from “Thomas” who was a commenter on a post at TempleStudy.com. I don’t know who this guy is but I like the way he thinks. He shared some very profound truths and here they are for you to enjoy as well.

“Mysticism is the study or practice of “mysteries”. Therefore mysticism can be defined by the means and methods and not by the resultant experience.

First, the experience isn’t mystical, it’s metaphysical. Second, mysticism derives from the same Greek root as mystery, and derives much of its meaning from that root. Mystic (of or pertaining to mysteries known by the initiated) with the suffix -ism (denoting action or practice). Experiences vary dramatically, anyway; what doesn’t vary nearly as much, however, is the means and methods.

Thus, you may be a mystic – not because you seek a transcendental experience, but because you practice mystical rites and ordinances: namely study, meditation, and prayer (among others). By this definition, all mystics practice more or less similar methods, though they may do so for very different reasons.”

For some additional pondering, I’ll throw in this quote from Joseph Smith:

“A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.” (Joseph Fielding Smith (editor), Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 137)

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Notes From the Climb: May – June 2013

nftc-perfect-obedience

The following are selected excerpts from my personal “small plates“. I am an advocate of recording personal revelatory insights and desire to share my experiences to encourage others.

May

  • Fear lulls us into a false comfort. Real and rewarding comfort comes after we have been in a condition where we actually need to be comforted.
  • If people are not occasionally offended by you, then you are withholding truth that may end up damning you instead of them.
  • Trust in the ability of the Spirit to speak through your inadequate words.
  • Forgiveness is more than just releasing someone from blame, it is then deeply loving them and having compassion on them. Forgiveness without love is not forgiveness.
  • The amount of personal liberty we enjoy is directly equivalent to the laws we know and the obedience we demonstrate toward them.Read Full Post
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The Path to Theophany, commentary on 1 Nephi 11

The following is simply a personal commentary on 1 Nephi 11 and how it relates to theophany.

These are my own observations and overlook many, many other important doctrines and principles contained in these verses. My object was to explore only a certain facet of what is here and the conclusions are my own. I’m publishing them here at oneClimbs because I feel that some things might be of use to others and fit the spirit of this site’s purpose: to simply share insights.

Nephis-tree

Nephi’s personal preparation

1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.

Nephi’s preparation includes the following three things:

  • Desire: a wish to possess some gratification or source of happiness which is supposed to be obtainable (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
  • Belief: an assent of the mind to the truth of a declaration, proposition or alleged fact, on the ground of evidence, distinct from personal knowledge (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
  • Pondering: to weight in the mind…to view with deliberation; to examine; (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

Nephi is caught away by the Spirit because in this case, he is almost ready for Theophany.

Theophany: 1630s, from Late Latin theophania, from Greek theophaneia, from theos “god” + phainein “to show” (etymonline.com) a visible manifestation of a deity (merriam-webster.com).

Often, we just study as part of a schedule with no real desire other than to keep that schedule and feel good about checking it off a list as a task completed. Effective study should be driven by Read Full Post

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The Lord’s People Receive Revelation by Bruce R. McConkie

The following talk is from an April 1971 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bruce R. McConkie. A commenter named “Thomas” at TempleStudy.com mentioned this article and I have reposted here for oneClimbs readers.

When I was a mission president in Australia, I once said to those of my missionaries in Tasmania: “Tomorrow we shall climb Mt. Wellington and hold our missionary meeting on the top. We shall there seek to commune with the Lord and partake of his Spirit.”

We made the climb, and while on top of the peak we visited a television broadcasting station. A bright young man explained to us in words I had never heard, and using principles I could not and do not understand, how the sounds and scenes of television were broadcast into the valley below.

That night, back in the city of Hobart, my two young sons and I sat before a television set that was tuned to the proper wave band, and we saw and heard and experienced what had been described to us in words.

Now I think this illustrates perfectly what is involved in the receipt of revelation and the seeing of visions. We can read about visions and revelations in the records of the past, we can study the inspired writings of people who had the fullness of the gospel in their day, but we cannot comprehend what is involved until we see and hear and experience for ourselves.

This Tabernacle is now full of words and music. Handel’s Messiah is being sung, and the world’s statesmen are propagandizing their people. But we do not hear any of it.

This Tabernacle is full of scenes from Vietnam and Washington. There is even a picture of men walking on the surface of the moon. But we are not seeing these things. The minute, however, in which we tune Read Full Post

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