Mysticism and Its Phenomenon in the Culture

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In these mystical or religious experiences, a spiritual union between the divine and the human occurs. This union can be dubbed as spiritual coitus or union with God and not only unites the soul to the revealing deity but also elicits deep unity and blissful delight within itself. This way of the mystic among Christians, epitomized by Teresa of Avila in the sixteenth-century Spain, is said to lead to a deep inner calm (Albright). To mystics, mystical experiences offer complete enthrallment in their souls and offer life-changing and beneficent effects. Mystical experiences are a unifying activity between the divine and human, where the self is lost or surrendered over to deity, although not extinguished, but transcended in profound pleasure and wonderful satisfaction.Others view the experience as also a dark night of the soul (a term coined by the Christian mystic St. John of the Cross). Here the mystic experience intense spiritual pain and a feeling of abandonment by a deity. These dark nights of the soul are believed to be nothing else but still of God (Jasper, 2005). The effect of this painful experience ultimately is spiritually beneficial to the mystic, with a deeper and stronger spiritual union with the deity. Ironically, however, mystical or religious experiences among Christians both detach and unites them (Peterson, 2002). In medieval times, Roman Catholicism tolerated the influx of mysticism, but with a suspicious and sentinel-like attitude (Peterson, 2002). Within Protestantism, some clasped and nurtured their peculiar brand of mystical experiences while others in disgust and trepidation attribute such activities to the realm of the demonic.Physicist Murray Gell-Mann once remarked that religion is the DNA of culture. Religious belief serves to organize human cultures and individual human consciousness at a very deep level, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. We influence our cultures, and they, in turn, influence us (Albright).