What is a Mystic?

The All Seeing Eye, Aachen Cathedral Germany

Mystics are people who have a direct connection to God–but they aren’t different from anyone else; rather they are people who practice the religious tenets of love and compassion, trying to purify their hearts and do right by others and be respectful of all life, aware nothing is created by themselves, but all is grace. They are also steeped in the spiritual disciplines of prayer and meditation.

Such disciplines open up a communication to an inner realm where rational knowledge ceases, where human achievement is passé, and where a place of connection to the mystery of God is attained.

The practice of mysticism leads to deeper awareness of oneself and of the connectedness of all of humanity and nature. It leads to the understanding that we are all One and are all eternal, that we need not fear death but can trust the uprising of Spirit to guide us in ways that are for our good and the greater good of all life.

The unknowable, according to  Schopenhauer,[27] mystics arrive at a condition in which there is no knowing subject and known object:

… we see all religions at their highest point end in mysticism and mysteries, that is to say, in darkness and veiled obscurity. These really indicate merely a blank spot for knowledge, the point where all knowledge necessarily ceases. Hence for thought this can be expressed only by negations, but for sense-perception it is indicated by symbolical signs, in temples by dim light and silence, in Brahmanism even by the required suspension of all thought and perception for the purpose of entering into the deepest communion with one’s own self, by mentally uttering the mysterious Om. In the widest sense, mysticism is every guidance to the immediate awareness of what is not reached by either perception or conception, or generally by any knowledge. The mystic is opposed to the philosopher by the fact that he begins from within, whereas the philosopher begins from without. The mystic starts from his inner, positive, individual experience, in which he finds himself as the eternal and only being, and so on. But nothing of this is communicable except the assertions that we have to accept on his word; consequently he is unable to convince.

Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. XLVIII


Aachen Cathedral
Aachen Cathedral, Germany

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