While some mystics never write, there are many mystics who are writers, poets and love poets. Is there a difference? If so, what is the difference between them?
First of all, who or what is a mystic?
Anyone can have a mystical experience of some kind, at one time or another and thus be referred to as a mystic. This is not something that happens to only one gender. Any adult, a teenager or a child, male or female, can have a mystical experience.
Does the writer who is a mystic, see and write any differently than a person who is a poet or a love poet? Are writers the only mystics? Are poets the only mystics? Are love poets the only mystics? The answer is no, to all three questions.
Resolving the enigma of how the mystic sees and writes, is not an easy task.
To some, this might appear to be an eerie phenomenon of some kind, as the mystic seems to be able to see beyond what every one else sees. The awareness of that reality can frighten some people.
The mystic may appear to live in his own unique world too, one in which he is forever seeking something beyond that which is apparent to others. He knows that what he is seeking is there, but he may not know how to find it. He may not even know what he is seeking.
The word mystic has to do with the realm of mystery and the unknown. We are confronted with different kinds of mystery every day of our lives. We understand our lives and life in general, in terms of our personal experiences, as well as our mysterious or mystical experiences.
Sometimes the word mystic is used in conjunction with esoteric rites of various kinds. It is often depicted in terms of the occult, but the word mystic does not necessarily refer to the realm of the occult.
The mystic often takes on a rather obscure face, in many ways. It depends upon his level of involvement in the mystical realm or with mysticism.
Those who attempt to understand the mystic are often confronted with an enigma. “How are we supposed to understand him?” Many people may not comprehend him or his world. His life style often leaves them confused and bewildered. But in terms of his subjective reality, his world works for him. While people often seek to understand mystics, they may be fearful of them and what they represent.
For the mystic, sometimes his experience appears to be one that takes on spiritual meaning or signification, but that is not always the case. Sometimes it is merely an awareness of something purely subjective in nature for him, but not necessarily for others.
The mystic is not always totally aware of the significance of his mystical experience. In other words, what he experiences, may only be experienced in part. At times, it can be many years, before he begins to understand his mystical experience. It may appear be fragmented, as if he only receives one piece of a puzzle, at a time.
He may not even be aware that he is a mystic, until much later in life. When he does realize it, he may respond by saying, “So that is what is wrong with me.” But, being a mystic is not necessarily a negative thing. It does not mean that there is something wrong with him.
Having a heightened awareness of reality, is actually a unique gift that he possesses. It has been given to him by God. He has the ability to see beyond the world that others perceive, know or accept. What he experiences may seem to be surreal or more like a dream, at times.
Sometimes the mystic is perceived as being associated with the magical realm. The mystic may have nothing to do with magic, even though there may be some magical properties associated with the experience that he has and recounts to others. Many mystics choose to stay silent about their experiences, because they fear that their credibility will be questioned.
Wonder and awe are often the first reactions of the mystic, or that of other people who are aware of what has happened to him, because having a mystical experience is often interpreted in terms of having a divine relationship, enlightenment or communion with God or the divine, on a higher spiritual plane of reality. This tends more toward the realm of mysticism.
Regardless of how the phenomenon is comprehended, the mystical experience can be perplexing even for the mystic, as his mind tries to unravel the enigma. Sometimes he is successful in doing so, but not always.
Sometimes the mystical realm involves distinct or vague intuitive elements, involving projection or speculation about the future. At times, it may prove to be prophetic in nature.
There may be severe skepticism and criticism on the part of others, who do not comprehend or accept mystical experiences, as being valid or real. It may be perceived by others as a non-reality.
A mystical experience can involve one’s belief system, but it is not necessarily tied to one’s beliefs either. It can result in a further enhancement of one’s beliefs. What the mystic feels, sees or senses, can be linked purely to nature or the beauty of the world around him.
There is no specific time or circumstance that triggers a mystical experience. In fact, a mystical experience can happen to anyone, at any time, or in any given set of circumstances. It often occurs unexpectedly or very suddenly.
A mystic who is not a writer, will not document his experience. He may not see any need to write about it or to relate it to others. He may just be momentarily excited, intrigued or fascinated by it and move on to something else. He may not even try to understand it or attempt to interpret its significance.
Mystics often seek total isolation from others or total seclusion, in order to increase the possibility of having another mystical encounter or experience. It depends upon whether what has happened has been a desirable experience for him. If it has been a negative experience, he may not want to have another one like it.
A mystic may choose to live a life that is celibate, in order to pursue what he perceives as a higher calling or to achieve a purer level of mysticism, one in which there is a more perfect relationship with the divine or where he can experience oneness with God.
Perhaps the mystic who is a writer, has a more difficult time with his mystical experience than one who does not write, because as a writer, he may feel a sense of compulsion or an obligation to put what he has experienced into words, ones that others can truly understand.
His repeated attempts to do so, may appear to be totally futile and leave him very frustrated at times, as his words can be and often are misunderstood by others. He may try to hide what he has written because of it.
For a mystic who is attempting to depict his subjective reality, words can seem to be totally inadequate, as his experience may go beyond the realm of that which can be portrayed or explained in words. But, words can be very limiting to any writer, at times.
For instance, how does one describe beauty perfectly? A mystic can see higher levels of beauty, but to put that into words, can present a challenge.
This mystical experience is the subjective, personal experience of the mystic, not that of someone else. He may feel that he does not have the right words to describe what has been revealed to him. He may feel very alone in his mystical experience.
The mystical realm often includes a high degree of revelation, but revelation is only given to those who are capable of receiving it. That does not necessarily include everyone in a family. In other words, one member of a family may be a mystic, while others are not.
The mystic who is a poet, tries to write poetry or poetize, what he has experienced. The poetic words that he uses will be far less in number, than those of a mystic who portrays his experience in prose. What he writes, will be written with words that are more precise, intense and descriptive.
The mystic poet is an artist who uses poetic words, rather than water colors or oil paints, to paint his mystical picture.
The poet’s words are few, but their purity, sincerity and intensity convey what the poet feels he must state. How to capture his mystical experience in only a few words, often presents a challenge for any poet. How to get anyone else to understand those words may present an even greater challenge.
The mystic who is a love poet, perceives everything from the perspective of love, not just with regard to the other kinds of words that another poet might use. The love poet’s realm of expertise is love.
Love is a complex realm that is vast in size and profound in nature.
The love poet’s mystical experience can be positive with respect to love, or negative in terms of non-love or the absence of love. His words can convey the world of love and hate. They can portray the full realm of joy and sorrow.
He writes with words that may be based upon his emotions, not only those of love in a positive sense, but also those that express his own fear and anxiety. Any feelings can surface and be projected in love poetry.
Let us look at some examples of mystical experiences.
A man looks at a photograph of a surging stream, in a deeply wooded area. In the photo, he sees many different faces, in amongst the leaves of the trees. He sees animals caught in the spring runoff. While some of what he sees in the photo, is pleasant to behold, not all of it is. In fact, maybe the water seems to be foreboding in some way. As a mystic, he sees beyond what is portrayed in the photograph, as there really are no people in the trees or animals in the water. As a writer, he moves on, to write about the tragedy of floods, based upon his mystical experience with nature. Perhaps it has some kind of a futuristic connotation for him.
A child looks at clouds in the sky and sees something that to him appears magical. He tells his mother that he saw a unicorn. He describes it to her perfectly. She tells him that there are no unicorns. The child has had a mystical experience, maybe indirectly related to something that he saw in his school books or on television. In his subjective reality, it suddenly comes to life for him. He writes a story about his encounter with the unicorn. Perhaps it is simply his imagination at work, but to him, it is real. He submits it to his teacher and she accepts it as fiction.
A lonely teenager stands on the shoreline of the ocean, entranced by the beauty of the early morning sunrise. Suddenly, in his moment of reverie, he sees what appears to be another person, standing on the horizon. Realistically, he knows that is not possible, but somehow it reminds him of someone who he has loved and lost. It leaves him with a sense of awe, wonder and joy, as he feels like he has been re-visited in some way, by this particular person. The mystical experience fills a void in his life. He writes love poetry about it.
An artist awakens to the spiritual realm in his own life, as he gazes at a painting that he has just finished. In his painting, he sees the face of Jesus, but realizes that he has not painted Him intentionally. What he was actually trying to paint, was a portrait of a very old man, a beggar who he has seen living on the street. But he can see the face of Jesus in his work and there are others who can see it too, but it is not necessarily everyone who sees it, even when he points it out to them. He writes about his spiritual experience with regard to his artwork, in words that he feels are not even his own. His writing combines both prose and poetry. It is as if there are two distinct voices speaking, through what he writes.
Each one of these experiences is different in some way. Yet they are similar, in that they all contain a mystical element of some kind, each on its own unique level.
Happenstances like this occur all of the time, but how they are understood by others, often leaves a lot to be desired.
In fact, mystical experiences are often perceived by others, in a very negative light. For example, where one weary fisherman sees another boat on the lake and the other person cannot see it, his first reaction might be. “You are crazy.” Or he could suggest, “Your imagination is running wild again.” Or, “I think that you have had too much to drink.” At the same time, the person who has had the mystical experience knows that it is real to him. That is all that really matters.
So what if others cannot see what a mystic can see? They don’t have to see it. Everyone does not always have to see everything that someone else sees.
Seeing beyond what others can see makes the mystic a unique person. It is a good thing, as mystics often turn out to be prophets or spiritual visionaries and even become profound intellectuals or leaders in society. What they write or poetize, has the potential to awaken others to deeper realities in life.
The mystic gets into difficulty in his personal life when there is a degree of confusion, misunderstanding or fanaticism that affects him, his family, his life style or that of others, in an adverse manner.
But at the same time, our reality is such that every person has probably had or will have a mystical experience, in one way or another, at some time life. Mystical experiences are possible at any time. Many people may have this kind of an experience but not realize what has happened.
Many mystical experiences are not recorded, except in the minds of those who have had the mystical experiences. Often, childhood mystical experiences are forgotten and may be recalled years later. Sometimes they are totally forgotten and never re-surface.
Many writers try to capture the mystical moment in words, because they know that if they don’t do it right then, the experience may slip away from them, perhaps forever. What it means would be lost to humankind.
Most true writers choose to write on inspiration and that includes both poets and love poets. The mystical experience often triggers the mystic, who is a writer, to write. It compels him to write and may lead him in a certain direction in his work.
The poet and love poet, who are mystics, write their own unique kinds of poetry, when the door of inspiration is opened. Poets and love poets often hurry to capture the words that are needed to express what they think and feel after a mystical experience of some kind.
Some people explain having mystical encounters of some kind or mystical experiences, in terms of having been in touch with their muses. The muses trigger their desire to write. Muses are considered to be quite acceptable in any writer’s world, as well as in the world of a poet or love poet. Mystical experiences are often regarded as being questionable in nature.
Writing is often stilted for mystics, as it is not always easy for some people who are mystics to write.
Words may not flow easily for any writers who are not inspired, especially when they do not understand not understand their personal experiences.
But, mystical experiences happen. The inspiration derived from it, leads the writer to write, the poet to poetize and the love poet to write love poetry.
The enigma of the mystic has been resolved. Or has it? Maybe the enigma of a mystic and his world has barely been tapped into in this article and may never be revealed or resolved in its entirety.