Keeping An Open Mind
Inspired by Ron Krumpos’ comments on my blog, I found myself encouraged to read his exceptional e-book, “Five Traditions In Mysticism: Mystical Approaches To Life.” You can find this e-book at http://www.suprarational.org/g.a.i.l.11.pdf, or you can also find it at his website suprarational.org . After reading this remarkable book,– a must read for any person interested in learning why mystics, philosophers, and scientists have been inspired, since time immemorial, by the issue(s) raised above—I highly recommend Ron’s book.
Upon my return to Ron Krumpos’ book (for the purpose of writing this review), I discovered the following definition:
“Mysticism, according to its historical and psychological definitions, is the direct intuition or experience of God; a mystic is a person who has, to a greater or lesser degree, such a direct experience; one whose religion and life are central not merely on an accepted belief or practice, but on that which he regards as first-hand personal knowledge.” (Oxford Dictionary of World Religions)
However, I found much more than the above definition. I found the most comprehensive, informative, and complete book on what it means to be a truly spiritual person in this world (or any other) that I have ever read. I highly recommend this free e-book.
There is far more in Ron Krumpos’ book than I could possibly hope to comment on in this limited space, but I did take a few notes. In addition to giving some of the history of the five major mystical religious traditions (Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Islamic and Jewish), he also offers copious quotes from the essential mystics that represent these traditions. By giving different mystical viewpoints, Ron Krumpos leads the reader through a discussion of the question, “What is reality?” Various topics in this regard are also discussed throughout the book, e.g., worldview perspectives, why some people reject the idea of mysticism while others do not, recognizing self-professed mystics who are deluded believers, and, probably most interesting, his discussion: Mysticism Is Not….! All in all, R. D. Krumpos’ book on “Mysticism” is an extremely valuable read for anybody interested in the subject, be they curious, novice, or experienced practitioner.
I leave you with two quoted passages from R. D. Krumpos’ e-book that I found especially helpful in my own on-going education of the world’s mystical traditions:
[“Spirituality, unlike the occult spiritualism, is sometimes defined as an “attempt to grow in sensitivity to self, to others, to non-human creation, and to God who is both within and beyond this totality.” In practice, spirituality will often “cultivate tranquility, mindfulness and insight, leading to virtues of wisdom and compassion.”]
[Devotees of mysticism can accept, intellectually, the absolute unity of all existence and ultimate oneness with the divine. Most other people either doubt these concepts or reject them altogether. Suddenly, consciously being in the One can transform some of the aspirants into confirmed mystics or shock a few non-believers into amazement. Each of them may emerge from that direct awareness enlightened; it might just result in their ego inflation or neurosis.
Realize is defined both to comprehend correctly or become aware completely and to make real or to actualize something. In incorrect usage, it could also mean attainment or achievement. The unity of existence and oneness with the divine are a present condition of all life; they are not something to be either attained or achieved, yet are usually unrealized by most people. True mystics, frequently, are correctly aware and do really actualize union in this life.]
Once again, I highly recommend R.D. Krumpos’ 104 page e-book on Mysticism—and it’s free!