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Mysticism And Its Relation To Christianity

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Different religions attribute different aspects of mysticism. Many have observed it as more difficult to define than socialism and the words of William Ralph Inge makes it crystal clear when he reveals the various attributes of Mysticism. He says, “ Sometimes it [mysticism] is used as an equivalent for symbolism or allegorism, sometimes for theosophy or occult science; and sometimes it merely suggests the mental state of a dreamer, or vague and fantastic opinions about God and the world” (Inge, 16). It clearly indicates the fact that defining mysticism is easier as one thinks.

The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines mysticism as, ‘ the belief that knowledge of God and the real truth can be found through prayer and meditation rather than through reason and the senses. ’ A more acceptable fact regarding mysticism can be identified with Margaret Smith when she rightly commented thus, “ Mysticism itself represents something much wider than its derivation: it represents a spiritual tendency which is universal, for we find it in all religions worthy of the name and in all true faiths, and it is the most vital element in such faiths” (Smith 2).

The author further affirms the supremacy of mysticism over religions. She, in her book, states that religions make a “ distinction between the Divine and the human, and emphasises the separation between the two; Mysticism goes beyond religion, and while still making a distinction, refuses to recognise the separation, and aspires to intimate union with the Divine, to a penetration of the Divine within the soul, and ultimately to the disappearance of the individuality, with all its modes of acting, thinking feeling, in the Divine substance” (Smith 3).

Regarding the perception of Smith about mysticism, one can see that the author considers mysticism beyond religious faith. Anyhow, the author stresses on the fact that mysticism cannot be separated from religion.  

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