Secular Mysticism

By Paul Dunion | October 1, 2013

Secular mysticism is the theme of my latest book, “Path of the Novice Mystic – Maintaining a Beginner’s Heart and Mind”. Unlike most spiritual traditions of Mysticism which are connected to a particular religion, Secular Mysticism is not oriented around religion. Secular Mysticism offers us an alternative to either believing we can triumph over life or see ourselves as victims, conquered by life. The goal of the Secular Mystic is to live intimately with one or more of the four expressions of life’s mystery. The first expression of life’s mystery is the Self. The second is other people and the third is Nature. The fourth is the Transcendent Other or God. We foster an intimate relationship with ourselves when we live a self-examined life accompanied by compassion. It can be difficult to see the darker elements of our characters such as arrogance, false modesty, jealousy and resentment, as well as claim the gold such as our gifts (talents), our intelligence, our kindnesses, and our capacity to love. We engender an intimate relationship with others when we speak our truth to them with compassion. Speaking the truth of how we feel treated and

 what we want from others. Our truths are accompanied by compassion when we don not attack the character of others, but rather refer to their behavior with descriptions of what we need or want from them, with no diminishing remarks about the way they have acted toward us. We also promote living intimately with others when we accept the mystery of who they are, not pretending to be able to define them, but remaining actively curious about them. If we create a story about others, we remain intimate by telling them the story we have created about them, seeking their confirmation or disconfirmation of our stories. We remain intimate with nature when we approach nature with a reverence, grateful for the opportunity to live in harmony with the mountains, the oceans, the animals and the plant life.  The suggestion from a Secular Mystical perspective is that when we live a devotion to be intimate with ourselves, others and nature, a dynamic connection to the God of your knowing is created. The Divine is summoned as we live in truth, compassion and reverence.
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Paul Dunion
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