From the time I was a teenager in Ireland, the Celt in me wanted to weave a triple-knot story reminiscent of the standing-stones petroglyphs of the druids and the illustrations of The Book of Kells. And so, I have spent the last 60 years interlacing my studies of science, psychology, and spirituality into one holistic thread. As part of this thinking, I have striven to liberate spirituality from the reductionism of religion and the concomitant abasement of scriptural revelation to mere literalist, fear-based dogma. And I’ve attempted to set science free from an outdated monist-materialism which, in spite of over a hundred years of study in the field of quantum mechanics, still pretends that matter is all that exists, and that consciousness is an illusion.
And so, some years back, I invented the term, “Mysticists” to mean a hybrid group who are both mystics and scientists. I believe that this is the next phase of human evolution. Above is a photo of Teilhard de Chardin, the brilliant Jesuit paleoanthropologist who, for me, is a prototype of that next phase.
Everyone is potentially a ‘mysticist’, but one must be willing to embark on the adventure of a lifetime to discover what that means first-hand. Though community is very important and “belonging” is vital, it must be predicated on individual gnosis (personal knowledge of spiritual mysteries.) In other words, it’s more important to paddle one’s own canoe in the river of Spirit than be an obedient, unthinking rower in “the barque of Peter” (or Mohammed, Moses, etc.) Mysticists live where real science meets true spirituality. The mystical impulse is the umbilical cord connecting us to Source. It’s the deepest instinct of the soul that lies behind all real evolution of the individual and the group. Problems start when the CEO of waking consciousness (aka the ego) thinks it’s the center of the psyche and then the mystical impulse hardens into religions and conventions. Human history is littered with diversions and distractions that have hijacked this energy in the service of fear and greed and violence perpetrated on other individuals, other communities, and even on Gaia herself.
C. Apologizing to God and Nature
We owe God a species-wide apology; not because God needs or even wants it, but in order to clean the slate and start afresh with a myth of mysticism in place of the stories of a partisan, human-writ-large bully. Spirit cannot, ultimately, be suppressed. Like water or the Tao, it will gently, patiently and inevitably find its way over, under, around or through any and all obstacles and will eventually awaken even those in the deepest sleep. Lest we lose heart, it is vitally important to remember that we volunteered for incarnation in these very times. We are not here by mistake. We weren’t unlucky and it’s not random. It’s by design. By the willingness of the soul to be an agent of transformation for the self (“the kingdom is within you”) and of ascension for the species (“the kingdom is among you”) we become paratroopers for Pachamama. To that end, we must make partners, not enemies, of science and spirituality. The ancient Celts, when they spoke of goddesses and gods, meant that the goddesses were the archetypes of nature, and the gods were the archetypes of culture. These were not in competition with each other, nor was one merely a resource to be exploited by the other—as we find, unfortunately, in the Book of Genesis and in Western thinking—but, rather, they were lovers and partners in the dance. And that is how real science and true spirituality must be. The offspring of that union are the people I call mysticists. Their mission will be to once more identify the mystical impulse in the soul of humanity, the glowing embers which the mystics of all traditions have secretly tended and blow upon them so that they burst into the purifying flames of unconditional love for all sentient beings. And the way of the mysticists gives us the final TOE (Theory of Everything). It is the weaving of the physical and the metaphysical, the merging of the immanent and the transcendent. It bespeaks a huge evolutionary shift for our species: the transformation of fear-generated vices into love-generated virtues. In this case, it is phylogeny recapitulating ontogeny—the tribe following the Ascension process first forged by the fully Self-realized Christ. It is the challenge and the possibility of the times in which we live. It is why you volunteered for incarnation at this stage of human history. Can you remember?
D. Einstein meets Gandhi
So, let me take the most famous scientific formula of all time, created by a proto-mysticist, Albert Einstein. It’s E = MC2 where ‘E’ is energy; ‘M’ is mass; and C2 the speed of light multiplied by itself. A modern mysticist might rework it as follows: It’s E = MC2 where ‘E’ is enlightenment; ‘M’ is the mass of humanity; and C2 the speed of God’s-love-for-us multiplied by the speed of the-love-of-the-awakened-heart-for-others. In the game of Lila, in which God plays hide-and-go-seek with Herself, She first self-fractures into perfect fractals, each of which contains the All in miniature. These we call “souls.” In a downward spiral of devolution, souls then limit themselves to just their psychic powers—and this stage we call “the causal body.” The third phase of obfuscation is called “the mental body” where we identify with the mind. Next comes the “astral body” where we believe we are our emotions. Then, “the etheric body” where we think we are the energy or vital force. And finally comes “the physical body” where we are radically convinced that we are separate from God, from each other and from nature. This is the low point of devolution, a phase in which existential angst, fear, greed, and anger are the primary responses to meeting “others.” But this is precisely when evolution begins as we claw our way back out of the pit of isolation, reversing the previous stages of descent, back into the heart of God in our ascension project. We are like the individual waves pounding mercilessly on the coastlines of separate islands, who finally realize that we are simply movements of the one global ocean massaging the body of a single global land mass. We are both the yin and the yang. And then comes the laughter of Lila, dissolving the illusion of separation from Source, and the rapturous homecoming of rushing into the arms of God, which prompted Jesus’s final words on his cross of incarnation, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.” (e.g., Hug me Abba).
If you are interested in a much fuller presentation of this material, please see my book, Setting God Free: Moving beyond the Caricature We’ve Created in Our Own Image.