When mysticism happened to me

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simplicity
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When mysticism happened to me

#1 Postby simplicity » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:35 pm

What a blessing to have found you. As a new member, I'll introduce myself.

On May 15, 2005, mysticism happened to me through a divine encounter that revealed a glimpse of who God had created me to be. I had been praying and fasting for the Lord to quiet my anxious spirit, and He answered with far more than I had anticipated. The vision took place in South America at a church associated with my own traditional, non-charismatic denomination. An elder to whom I had already become very close whispered that he had seen me receive the vision and the Lord revealed to him that I had just been given the gift of prophesy. I was alarmed, as our denomination does not believe in such a gift.

But his remark held true: for the next 3 ½ months, I entered into intense visionary experiences – some profound and some terrifying. At the end of 3 ½ months, in spite of my absence from any source of news, a climax occurred with labor-like pains and revelations akin to Katrina, as New Orleans was drowning. My skeptical friends and family, who previously had been pleading with me to see a psychologist, could no longer deny the reality of what I was experiencing.

More profound than the visions were the revelations of humanity and the “gospel” of Christ – not as Jesus crucified for our sins – but for the “kingdom of heaven,” here on earth for those who usher in the mind of Christ. The Lord whispered mysteries and then he led me not only into a fresh understanding of our canonical scriptures, but he also led me to ancient scriptures, like the Gospel of Thomas, to confirm the whispers. I was astonished.

But I was solitary in astonishment. The elder who witnessed my encounter mentored me for two weeks, and then I lost him. The “spiritual forces of resistance” Tau Malachi mentions sent a creative twist: the pastor of the church where I had the vision was tempted by me and then I by him, and I was ordered to have no contact with anyone in the church, including my mentor. God sent my mentor to direct my path, and then He wanted me on my own – despite what I believe, along with you, that “self-realization in complete isolation . . . is considered very questionable.”

Desiring not this solitary state, I have read much, written much (still concealed) and have kept praying to be “gathered” out of “exile.” I began with charismatic believers, but I was too mystical, challenged traditional Christianity too much, and, like Jeremiah, saw too many "peace and prosperity prophets" among them. Catholic mysticism carried more resonance, but they have the Pope. I then discovered Jewish Kabbalah, which clarified much. But I grieved the Kabbalists have landed upon such profound mysteries, despite an emphasis that appears to have meditation (and even age) trumping love and other qualities of the heart in the quest for such mysteries. Finally, in thanks to Malachi's book, “Living Gnosis,” I discovered Sophian Gnosticism. Here, I find mysteries clarified, along with an emphasis on the heart Jesus called his disciples to dawn.

While my intimacy with Christ is strong, I continue to pray for “gathering.” May your forum help direct this path. :wink:
"Miracles happen every day and at every moment. He who sees them not is deprived of one of the fairest gifts of life" (St. Issa, the Lost Years of Jesus)

+rue

#2 Postby +rue » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:54 am

welcome!

what a beautiful sharing. i look forward to reading more of your posts--so glad you found us! i experience much support on this path; so glad you're no longer isolated.

blessings & shalom!
+rue

humbleseeker
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#3 Postby humbleseeker » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:16 am

thats realy cool, I am sorry you lost contact with your mentor. I am sure that God is moving and directing your life even when we dont understand it. What an exciting journey!

simplicity
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#4 Postby simplicity » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:05 am

Thank you, both, for welcoming me.

I am so grateful to have found a forum where I can pursue my own spirituality much more openly, for the following quote describes me clearly:

there actually are many people who privately hold a broader faith but remain in the exoteric Christian community for fellowship and commerce. Gnostic Christian communities are far and few between, and generally are very small – they do not have the numbers of people or resources of exoteric communities, so very often individuals of a more mystical or gnostic inclination can be found within exoteric Christian communities. In fact, this is why some evangelical preachers feel the need to speak so strongly against Gnosticism, because some individuals in their own churches have an inclination towards it and may even discuss it privately with friends in their church, hence spreading some of the “dangerous” thoughts and inspirations. Generally, however, individuals in the exoteric church with mystical or gnostic inclinations are very private about them, and often will only entertain a conversation on them in private; after all, to speak too openly could lead to a tumult, and a loss of friendship, community and commerce, and most often there isn’t exactly another place to go for spiritual fellowship.

In this regard, this is why the generation of spiritual communities among Gnostic Christians is so important when possible, offering alternatives for those who might desire them.


I have many with whom I can engage in lively discussions over canonical texts, and I even lead a Bible study in the evangelical church I have attended for years. Thankfully, those in my Bible study enjoy stretching into fresh, new interpretations of the scriptures. They know my own perspectives are unique and more mystical, but I speak their language and I fiercely guard most of my mysteries, as Jesus instructs, regarding "pearls" and "what is holy."

But I feel a sigh of relief to have a place to release what has been guarded.

I, too, look forward to reading more of what you all, +rue, humbleseeker, and all, have to share. Thank you and blessings.
"Miracles happen every day and at every moment. He who sees them not is deprived of one of the fairest gifts of life" (St. Issa, the Lost Years of Jesus)

PaulKruse
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#5 Postby PaulKruse » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:22 pm

Simplicity and I have been carrying on a private discussion via electronic messaging, but having been directed here by her, I think it good to now continue our conversation here. It has been quite some time since I’ve posted in this forum.

Since a very young child, I knew that the very best things happened inside of me; and that they happened much better when I practiced what I now know is disciplined meditation. I used to say, “Happiness is a state of mind, and my mind is the one and only thing in this world that I have complete control over.” Such was the wisdom of a ten-year-old boy more than four decades ago. I was raised in the Roman tradition, and developed a very close relationship with Mother Mary.

Then at 17, I rejected all that I had learned in my first tradition, completely immersing myself in a Charismatic doctrine of prosperity and health. They held the Bible as the absolute literal Word of God, to the exclusion of any other writings or teachings. I learned the Bible extremely well. At about 35, I rejected the health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine and joined a Southern Baptist church, which is where I am today. They consider me a great teacher of the Word, but they cannot believe that any of the wonderful things it says actually apply to them. They suffer under the illusion of separation from God, and consider themselves to be unworthy sinners hoping that God might share a few of His blessings with them anyway.

I stick around in the Baptist church simply because it is full of good friends who I love dearly. But I fellowship with a small group of very enlightened people elsewhere. Five ladies and one guy, all older than me. We have all learned a great deal from each other.

Simplicity and I are two examples of people who have found enlightenment while immersed in an exoteric orthodox tradition. It is not easy. The road is long and hard. But with diligence, it does happen. I must say that at no time can I ever remember accepting any orthodox doctrine at face value. I knew that I had God’s Holy Spirit in me, the Christ in me the hope of glory; and I knew that God really did speak to me in a still small voice. Above all, I knew that God was light, and in Him was no darkness at all. I learned early to test the spirits. Any that did not manifest the Love of Christ, I rejected. That was my standard, and still is.

I’m currently teaching a Sunday school class at the Baptist church. I’m teaching it mostly from one of Tau’s books, and another one by Penny Cohen called the “Practical Kabballah.” I also pull lessons learned from the Sophian group on Facebook. The Pastor is sitting through it, too; and he is eating it up. But I teach only the simple points, and I translate it into words politically correct to them. I rarely use the word “Meditation,” for example; but I talk a great deal about “Contemplation.” I pull lessons massively from Canonized Scripture and other texts acceptable to the tradition. A few times, I pulled lessons from the Gospel of St. Thomas, and was amazed that nobody even raised an eyebrow. One student went out and bought a copy of it, though not Tau’s commentary on the book. I seems strange even to me to walk into a class at a Southern Baptist church, and see the Tree of Life on the wall. While the students all love the class and think it is wonderful, I’ve yet to see one who understands that such things are actually available to them personally. Yes, maybe the great prophets and apostles of the Bible could tap into such things, but certainly not the “ordinary Christian.”

Those are the positive highlights of my quest. I’ve also been through a very long and agonizing “Dark Night of the Soul.” But I don’t talk much about that, now that it is history.

I truly do not like talking about myself. It sounds too much like proud bragging, which I actively reject most of the time. I considered the matter for more than a year before posting this, and I did it to remind folks not to write off their orthodox brothers and sisters.

simplicity
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#6 Postby simplicity » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:11 pm

Beautiful story! Thank you for posting. :wink:

I hope you'll accept hearing that you were quite an insightful young boy.

What a blessing that you are able to teach a Sunday School class -- which includes the pastor -- in the Southern Baptist church (Praise!) utilizing the Tree of Life, Tau Malachi's book, and a little of the Gospel of Thomas! May the Lord keep whispering through you.

I lead a Bible study in which I have to be even more careful with what I say, but bits do come out, and I also quote from non-canonical scriptures to an intrigued group.

Yes, there is a sense that these beautiful mysteries appear to many in the churches as unavailable to them and that they are "unworthy sinners." At just my last meeting, my group permitted me to indulge in my own concern that Augustine's doctrine of "original sin," which isn't Biblical, has enslaved the church into believing that we can only be made whole by Christ in the afterlife. I reminded them that we are "made in the image of God," that Christ can "do all things" through us here and now, if we "abide" in Him, and that our understanding of our identity becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. If we perceive ourselves as sinners, so we are. If we come to understand our identity in the "image of God," so will we become.

So, thank you, Paul, for posting and for engaging with me both here and in personal messages. Having not the enlightened group of friends you fellowship with, I am very grateful to have found friends like you in this forum.

Blessings,
simplicity
"Miracles happen every day and at every moment. He who sees them not is deprived of one of the fairest gifts of life" (St. Issa, the Lost Years of Jesus)

sheryl
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belated welcome

#7 Postby sheryl » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:52 am

Greetings Simplicity!

I just read your introduction and wish to extend a belated welcome to our online community.

Our stories have many similarities, and so my heart and prayers go out to you in your journey.

I too was a fundamental or evangelical Christian who underwent a drastic awakening experience. It led to eventual isolation and some very difficult times.

I am a recently-widowed mother of 2 living in Southern California.

How wonderful that you have found your way here. It has been a delight to share in your journey and poetry.

If you need another ear or friend, please feel free to PM me.

Shalom and blessings.

Sheryl

simplicity
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#8 Postby simplicity » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:30 pm

What a blessing, Sheryl! Thank you. I am interested to hear about our shared experiences, so I might take you up on that . . . :- )

Shalom,
simplicity
"Miracles happen every day and at every moment. He who sees them not is deprived of one of the fairest gifts of life" (St. Issa, the Lost Years of Jesus)


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