Was Paul a Mystic?
The Mystic realizes this dense physical world is limited and impermanent, for it consists of a lower vibration. When the mind and heart of the Mystic ascends into higher consciousness of the Divine, or Cosmic Consciousness, he is being lifted higher in vibration. This often occurs because he has become accustomed to entering a deep meditative state due to regular practice, and frequently he will have spiritual mystical teachings experiences, because he is learning to unite with his inner Source, for he yearns to live in this state always. However, he also knows that isolating himself in order to maintain a state of continual communion with the Divine is not practical. He must learn to find the Divine Presence in the wide diversity of the physical world as well, whether it is through socializing, business, nature, entertainment, and various other worldly interactions, etc. He realizes that attaining a healthy balance between the physical and spiritual planes is necessary. When he becomes engrossed too much in one or the other, this leads to a state of unbalance. The Mystic knows he has work to do in this denser world; he cannot remain in contemplative seclusion indefinitely, in an attempt to amalgamated with the Absolute, as many recluses in the past have endeavored to accomplish while ignoring the world around them. However, as long as he interacts with the physical world, he should apply himself and be a worthy example to others, and to serve them and uplift them to a higher level of reality. He will benefit himself and others by maintaining a balance of the active life of service and the quiet life of contemplation, where both are necessary in the Mystic’s life. There is a time to be active and a time for quietism.
Many early contemplatives and ascetics desired to escape the physical world by submerging themselves in severe meditative practices, fasting, and strict seclusion; however, it is necessary for any serious aspirants to interact with the world. The key is to cease trying to escape the world, but to learn to enjoy it.
In her book, Mysticism, Evelyn Underhill states, “But, having established that communion, re-ordered their inner lives upon transcendent levels — being united with their Source not merely in temporary ecstasies, but in virtue of a permanent condition of the soul, they were impelled to abandon their solitude; and resume, in some way, their contact with the world in order to become the medium whereby that Life flowed out to other men. To go up alone into the mountain and come back as an ambassador to the world, has ever been the method of humanity’s best friends. This systole-and-diastole motion of retreat as the preliminary to a return remains the true ideal of Christian Mysticism in its highest development.”
The Mystic is willing to serve here in this world as long as necessary, to uplift others into a level of deeper reality that he has experienced firsthand, but he is motivated by the compassion in his heart for humanity, yearning for his brothers and sisters to find God in their hearts too. He has walked the Way, doing the Great Work, so he knows how to lead others to find the Divine Source.
The Mystic will be glad in his heart when countless seekers have achieved the splendor of Illumination, which will lead them into Divine Union, for they have diligently followed the path he has walked for a long time now.