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MiserereNobis

Mysticism And Mormon Spirituality

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This discussion is rapidly disintegrating and does not come close to our good Catholic friend's entry. Sometimes guys it is better to ignore than to engage; stay focused on the topic.

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I'm sure that you'd dismiss Gershom Scholem, too. I bet you'd say of him that, "his knowledge of the subject appears to be very limited and superficial. He has a long ways to go before having a "point of view" on the subject that will be worth "expressing". A good advice would be to save himself the unnecessary embarrassment."

http://www2.trincoll.edu/~kiener/RELG308_Scholem_MTJM_Lecture1.pdf

"This leads us to a further consideration: it would be a mistake to assume that the whole of what we call mysticism is identical with that personal experience which is realized in the state of ecstasy or ecstatic meditation. Mysticism, as an historical phenomenon, comprises much more than this experience, which lies at its root. There is a danger in relying too much on purely speculative definitions of the term. The point I should like to make is this-that there is no such thing as mysticism in the abstract, that is to say, a phenomenon or experience which has no particular relation to other religious phenomena. There is no mysticism as such, there is only the mysticism of a particular religious system, Christian, ISlamic, Jewish mysticism and so on. That there remains a common characteristic it would be absurd to deny, and it is this element which is brought out in the comparative analysis of particular mystical experiences. But only in our days has the belief gained ground that there is such a thing as an abstract mystical religion. One reason for this widespread belief may be found in the pantheistic trend which, for the past century, has exercised a much greater influence on religious thought than ever before. Its influence can be traced in the manifold attempts to abandon the fixed forms of dogmatic and institutional religion in favour of some sort of universal religion. For the same reason the various historical aspects of religious mysticism are often treated as corrupted forms of an, as it were, chemically pure mysticism which is thought of as not bound to any particular religion. As it is our intention to treat of a certain definite kind of mysticism, namely Jewish, we should not dwell too much upon such abstractions. Moreover, as Evelyn Underhill has rightly pointed out, the prevailing conception of the mystic as a religious anarchist who owes no allegiance to his religion finds little support in fact. History rather shows that the great mystics were faithful adherents of the great religions.

Jewish mysticism, no less than its Greek or Christian counterparts, presents itself as a totality of concrete historical phenomena. Let us, therefore, pause to consider for a moment the conditions and circumstances under which mysticism arises in the historical development of religion and particularly in that of the great monotheistic systems. The definitions of the term mysticism of which I have given a few instances, lead only too easily to the conclusion that all religion in the last resort is based on mysticism; a conclusion which, as we have seen, is drawn in so many words by Rufus Jones. For is not religion unthinkable without an "immediate awareness of relation with God"? That way lies an interminable dispute about words. The fact is that nobody seriously thinks of applying the term mysticism to the classic manifestations of the great religions. It would be absurd to call Moses, the man of God, a mystic, or to apply this term to the Prophets, on the strength of their immediate religious experience. I, for one, do not intend to employ a terminology which obscures the very real differences that are recognized by all, and thereby makes it even more difficult to get at the root of the problem."

Exactly.

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知者不言,

言者不知。

zhī zhě b́u yàn

yàn zhě b́u zhī

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A second attempt to answer our friend MN's original post:

So, after this long preamble, I am curious about mysticism in Mormon spirituality, culture, theology, etc. I of course recognize that the blatant place for mysticism would be the gaining of a testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon or of Joseph Smith, as this is a subjective religious experience that results in knowledge. However, that doesn't quite fit the definition that I am focusing on -- mysticism as a direct unmediated experience of God.

I'm wondering if such a mysticism is even possible in Mormonism, since God is a physical being. Can one find God at the center of one's soul and realize a perfect metaphysical union with Him if He has a body somewhere?

Also, what might some Mormon mystical practices be? Most religions have similar practices surrounding mysticism, such as meditation, prayer, song/dance, penitential practices (fasting, asceticism), etc. Usually mystical experience occurs in some sort of life removed from the world, such as a monastery. In Catholicism, we call it "contemplation" which is just another word for meditation. There are various forms, but all seem to have in common the idea of stilling or shutting down the linguistic mind, setting the ego aside, and then waiting for God's grace to touch us with knowledge of Him. I personally find that the life and schedule of a Benedictine monastery is most conducive for me to have mystical experiences.

I think the answer to that is that inner quest to make a direct contact with the divine, the sublime, the ultimate reality etc., which can be said to be the essential characteristic feature of mysticism, is already built in, or bolted onto the mainstream theology of the religion, so that there is no need for a separate mystical offshoot in an attempt to realise that ambition. Consider the following verses:

"And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

"For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.

"Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.

"Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected." (D&C 67:10-13)

"Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.

"And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

"Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.

"Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you." (D&C 88:66-69)

"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;

"And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;

"And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—

"The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men." (D&C 93:1-4)

A careful study of these would reveal rich treasure trove of typically mystical which a "mystic" could identify with. Here are a few highlights, without attempting a detailed analysis:

1. The quest to come to know and directly experience God.

2. The means of achieving it—repentanc, faith, prayer, purification, sanctification etc.

3. The importance of controlling your mind (casting away idle thoughts, having your "eye" (mind) "single" (focused) on the glory of God).

4. Experiencing and knowing God not with the natural or carnal mind (for that is possible), but with the faculties of the spirit (assisted by the Spirit of God).

5. The importance of receiving "light" (spiritual light) in knowing God (and ultimately all truth, which is another quest of mysticism).

6. Even the ultimate quest—the realisation of the mystery of the Godhead, or the Trinity.

These are all within the grasp of the faithful Mormon through the channel or medium of the mainstream of the religion. It is already pre-built into the system, so that it does not need to be looked for somewhere else.

I am just scratching the surface here. If you wanted to look deep for this kind of thing into Mormonism, or in Mormon revelation, there is an awful lot more. You could write a book about it if you wanted to. And it is all available within the mainstream of the religion. You don't need a mystic master or guru to lead you along. If you really have that kind of ambition, the Holy Spirit will be your master and guide, and lead you along to the realisation of your ambition—seeing and knowing God to the highest realisation of that possibility. There is no limit to how high you can go, if that is your real ambition.

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知者不言,

言者不知。

zhī zhě b́u yàn

yàn zhě b́u zhī

Clever.

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知者不言,

言者不知。

zhī zhě b́u yàn

yàn zhě b́u zhī

I think it loses something in translation....

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I think it loses something in translation....

All mystics do.

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All mystics do.

I won't believe this until you can back it up with a wikipedia reference.

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I won't believe this until you can back it up with a wikipedia reference.

Don't worry, I'll add it to wikipedia and get back to you in a few minutes.

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Yes, it's clear now that Dr. Hamblin's three degrees in history and extensive work in religious studies are no match for a cut-and-paste job from Wikipedia.

I think they call this "mentioning the 800 pound gorilla in the room"

Somebody had to do it! ;)

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知者不言,

言者不知。

zhī zhě b́u yàn

yàn zhě b́u zhī

Harumph! Easy for YOU to say. ;)

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. . . . . I think it is magnificent that the first thing a Mormon gets is official permission, and indeed the injunction, to trust the still, small voice within. Later we are taught other things that diminish the role of the still, small voice within, which I think is unfortunate, but at least we start out with that.

(My personal opinion is that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is sort of like when the Wizard of Oz gave the Scarecrow a diploma. The diploma did not actually confer greater intelligence, but rather validated a part of who he already was. Likewise, I don't think the Mormons have any monopoly on the Holy Ghost, but they do have a ceremony for each individual that highlights the Spirit as a source of guidance and truth. I wish they did a better job of teaching how to tell the still, small voice apart from our own personal agendas, but maybe that's asking too much.)

I don't think there's much of a formal tradition of mysticism within the Mormon church, probably because there's a strong emphasis on the central authority, and mystics tend to come up with stuff that goes off the beaten path. But the foundation is there for the individual seeker, in my opinion.

Perhaps Mormons seem to be asked to be multitasking (jobs, families, Church callings, etc.) in a way which seems to you to diminish the role of the Holy Sprit, but that is a misperception. The purpose of life on Earth is be fully challenged and tested by all aspects of humanity and yet be amendable to the still small voice, along with one's loved ones. To do this requires considerable self-discipline and commitment -- to daily prayer, daily Scripture reading, family home evening, and full participation in the Kingdom of God on Earth (the LDS Church) and the priesthood.

This is great. Strong emotion is not a mystical experience. You can get strong emotion from a good movie or book or powerful orator or even a football game. In my (heretical) opinion, religion gets you living a good enough life that you are in a position to take the next step, which is to become a true disciple following the highest you know consistently, which leads to discovering and then following yet higher truths as you go. And even if that isn't what you are inclined to do, at least they got you to probably being a better person than you would have been otherwise.

I spent several years in Catholic schools when I was a kid, but wasn't exposed to any tradition or line of thinking that inplied mysticism. On the contrary, the emphasis seemed to be on accepting dogma whether it made sense to you or not. So I'm interested in hearing more about this side of Catholicism, if you don't mind sharing.

Roman Catholicism has a long tradition of monasticism and celibacy (required of most priests now for a millennium), as well as religious retreats for the laity -- many of whom are members of Holy Orders. This affords the opportunity for many Catholics to seek religious experience in silent meditation and contemplation in a cloistered and tightly disciplined environment.

Mormons approach this from a more difficult position, one in which children and obligations are ever present. However, I think that you are right to suggest that "religion gets you living a good enough life that you are in a position to take the next step," and in the formal stages of spiritual growth (a la Evelyn Underhill, for example) we ought certainly to allow for that solid approach. Our retreat is the temple, the celestial room being the prime location for contemplation. Holiness to the Lord.

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A second attempt to answer our friend MN's original post:

I think the answer to that is that inner quest to make a direct contact with the divine, the sublime, the ultimate reality etc., which can be said to be the essential characteristic feature of mysticism, is already built in, or bolted onto the mainstream theology of the religion, so that there is no need for a separate mystical offshoot in an attempt to realise that ambition. Consider the following verses:

"And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

"For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.

"Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.

"Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected." (D&C 67:10-13)

"Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.

"And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

"Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.

"Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you." (D&C 88:66-69)

"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;

"And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;

"And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—

"The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men." (D&C 93:1-4)

A careful study of these would reveal rich treasure trove of typically mystical which a "mystic" could identify with. Here are a few highlights, without attempting a detailed analysis:

1. The quest to come to know and directly experience God.

2. The means of achieving it—repentanc, faith, prayer, purification, sanctification etc.

3. The importance of controlling your mind (casting away idle thoughts, having your "eye" (mind) "single" (focused) on the glory of God).

4. Experiencing and knowing God not with the natural or carnal mind (for that is possible), but with the faculties of the spirit (assisted by the Spirit of God).

5. The importance of receiving "light" (spiritual light) in knowing God (and ultimately all truth, which is another quest of mysticism).

6. Even the ultimate quest—the realisation of the mystery of the Godhead, or the Trinity.

These are all within the grasp of the faithful Mormon through the channel or medium of the mainstream of the religion. It is already pre-built into the system, so that it does not need to be looked for somewhere else.

I am just scratching the surface here. If you wanted to look deep for this kind of thing into Mormonism, or in Mormon revelation, there is an awful lot more. You could write a book about it if you wanted to. And it is all available within the mainstream of the religion. You don't need a mystic master or guru to lead you along. If you really have that kind of ambition, the Holy Spirit will be your master and guide, and lead you along to the realisation of your ambition—seeing and knowing God to the highest realisation of that possibility. There is no limit to how high you can go, if that is your real ambition.

You and MiserereNobis have done us a real service in starting this conversation. The degree of difference of opinion here along with the upcoming BYU conference on "The Mystical" suggest that this is an important subject and needs some serious discussion. In Sunday School today, we were reading III Nephi 28:13-15,17, which reminded me of II Corinthians 12:2-4, and Revelation 1:10-20, and many another awesome encounter with the Divine/Council/God, which are so often a central feature of so-called "Temple Mysticism," if only due to the esoteric symbolism.

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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You could start by answering the question I asked you. Have you heard of Ariel Bension?

Doesn't look like you'll get any takers. I hadn't heard of him. However, I looked him up online and found him to be an excellent example of Jewish mysticism, with Islamic-Sufi mysticism thrown in for good measure. Hopefully, you will prepare a paper for the BYU conference dealing with the central features and characters in Jewish mysticism, including especially Isaac Luria.

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So, after this long preamble, I am curious about mysticism in Mormon spirituality, culture, theology, etc. I of course recognize that the blatant place for mysticism would be the gaining of a testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon or of Joseph Smith, as this is a subjective religious experience that results in knowledge. However, that doesn't quite fit the definition that I am focusing on -- mysticism as a direct unmediated experience of God.

I'm wondering if such a mysticism is even possible in Mormonism, since God is a physical being. Can one find God at the center of one's soul and realize a perfect metaphysical union with Him if He has a body somewhere?

Also, what might some Mormon mystical practices be?

MiserereNobis,

I am so pleased to hear you bring up such an interesting topic to me. It is one that I happen to understand from both the Mormon and Benedictine perspectives. I am very familiar with John Main and Laurance Freeman. I have all of their podcasts on my iphone and study them regularly and have been very inspired and touched by their words. I have a deep regard and respect for them and their teachings!

I am a Latter Day Saint and have been my whole life. I stumbled upon Catholic contemplative prayer in a rather remarkable way which I will not get into here.

Our views of mysticism and practices are very much similar with only slight variances. While we do not practice the mantra (such as Marangatha) we are taught that one can commune with God and be one with God through similar means.

To answer your question about a direct unmediated experience with God - Our experience of God is through the Holy Spirit, which does not have a body of flesh and bones as does the Father. Because God the Father and the Spirit are one, the experience is the same, as if it were the Father Himself dwelling in our hearts. You may view this as a mediated experience, but to us it is direct communion with God, more powerful and transforming than seeing Christ with your own eyes. One cannot have this experience and not be transformed, receiving a new heart with God's law written upon its fleshy tablets.

Our practices of prayer and meditation are probably somewhere between the practices of mindfulness and the mantra. Of course there are many forms of prayer that we practice.

I have personally practiced a modified version of contemplative prayer for the last two years. I pray for 20-30 minutes morning and night and record my experiences in my journal. My journal has become a sacred personal scripture for me. I begin by emptying my mind and attempting to enter the void, when I feel that my mind and heart are sufficiently quiet, I invite the Holy spirit to guide my prayer. The main difference is that Mormons do invite inspiration and revelation into our prayers. I know that in contemplative prayer, you are taught to cast aside all impressions, feelings, and thoughts and find God in the present. I do not doubt the results of such practices, but I would have missed out on his word had I ignored it. He speaks with me daily and carefully opens my eyes and my heart to new vistas. He builds me piece by piece, and my understanding is enlightened line upon line.

I have heard many witness of their personal experiences with contemplative prayer, I can assure you that my experiences with God are equally transformative.

The prophet David O. Mckay taught - Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord. Jesus set the example for us. As soon as he was baptized and received the Father’s approval, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” [Matthew 3:17] Jesus [went] to what is now known as the mount of temptation. I like to think of it as the mount of meditation where, during the forty days of fasting, he communed with himself and his Father, and contemplated upon the responsibility of his great mission. One result of this spiritual communion was such strength as enabled him to say to the tempter:

“… Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matt. 4:10.)

He continues - Don't get so busy that you don't have time to meditate. Take the time. The most important testimony does not come by sight, but by the inner witness. Christ may be nearer than we have knowledge. "I am in your midst, but you do not see me. The Holy Ghost bears the sure witness. Mine eyes are upon you. The day cometh when ye shall know that I am." [see D&C 38:7--8.]10

"We pay too little attention to the value of meditation, a principle of devotion. In our worship there are two elements: One is spiritual communion arising from our own meditation; the other, instruction from others, particularly from those who have authority to guide and instruct us. Of the two, the more profitable introspectively is the meditation. Meditation is the language of the soul."

This is from Chauncey C. Riddly:

The helpmate of mighty prayer is meditation. In meditating, one tries to minimize his involvements with the physical world for a time in order to concentrate on something inner, on ideas and feelings. As a person prays sincerely with the Holy Spirit as his guide, that Spirit will bring to him many thoughts and feelings. This is part of the process of revelation. To take full advantage of this revelation, one would do well to mull over the matter under consideration, piecing together what one already knows with the new insights received.

It is one thing to have a revelation. It is quite another to understand and obey. Understanding comes in the process of careful, prayerful reflections of meditation upon what one has received. To pray is often like asking for food and then being blessed with a sumptuous meal. What would you think of a person who, when thus honored, merely took a sniff, then put the meal on a shelf and left it? Though greatly blessed, he would not be nourished.

So it may be with those who pray and do not meditate. They may have much but may be little edified.

Fasting might be considered another "mystical" practice. It is thought to be a sort of adjunct and catalyst to mighty prayer, revelation and experience of God. We are taught to pray always. Our life in effect becomes a prayer of devotion to the Lord where we can experience him presently at every moment.

Sorry for the novel.

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Doesn't look like you'll get any takers. I hadn't heard of him. However, I looked him up online and found him to be an excellent example of Jewish mysticism, with Islamic-Sufi mysticism thrown in for good measure. Hopefully, you will prepare a paper for the BYU conference dealing with the central features and characters in Jewish mysticism, including especially Isaac Luria.

Sadly, Ariel Bension is an almost forgotten figure now. Unjustly so, as he was one of the more important early scholars of Kabbalah.

Bension brought several unique things to the table. He was born in Jerusalem to a Sefardic Moroccan Jew, one of the preeminent kabbalists of the Beit-El yeshivah. Alone among 20th c. Kabbalah scholars, Bension's childhood was spent in that unique, contemplative world which was focused on attaining the true intent of the labyrinth which is the Lurianic prayer-schema. Attaining the true intent would repair and restore the vast, inter-connected structures of the universe to their correct pattern, purpose, and unity, in other words the redemption of the world. These Jerusalem Kabbalists were also on fairly close and open terms with many Sufi masters, Sufism having a presence in the Judeo-Arab communities as far back as Bahya ibn Pakuda and his influential pietistic work, Duties of the Hearts. Bension, a brilliant individual, studied in a German university around the turn of the century. He would there have been exposed to influential German theories on religion, including mysticism. A few years later, Bension was appointed Sefardic rabbi of the Balkan town of Manastir, home to an important Sufi Dervish order. He got along well with them, which comes as no surprise. Several even remebered Bension fondly decades later.

I'm sure Bension's scholarly output would have been much greater had he devoted himself to an academic life, rather than a pastoral and communal one (though I consider it far worthier), not to mention his struggles with poor health.

Bension was an individual who could move comfortably between multiple worlds: the modern, scholarly community of Europe; the traditional world of Sefardi learning and piety; the mainly secular, Jewish national movement; the spiritual wolrd of Sufi Islam; and not least, the shared culture of the Middle-East. His magnum opus, the Zohar in Moslem and Christian Spain, traced the Sufi (and Christian mystic) influence on the Kabbalists of Spain. I haven't been able to find an affordable copy yet, so I can't say how many of his conclusions hold up, but the point is that Bension was a mystic who searched for how other mystical traditions influenced his own. The interesting thing, though, is that Bension rejected a universal mystical tradition. He was incredibly scathing in his condemnation of Hasidism, even though the world considers it a example par excellence of a Jewish mystical tradition. I can't emphasise the irony enough. Bension considered Hasidism a counterfeit which was trying to reach a recognition of God through artificially-induced ecstasy. One cannot help but contrast that with R. Nachman of Breslav's famous maxim, "It is a great commandment (mitzvah) to be in joy perpetually." This joy, if not spontaneous, was induced by forcing one's self to dance, to sing, to sway, to jump. If we look at mysticism as a universal tradition, this is perfectly valid in order to reach unio mystico. This, however, was not how Ariel Bension experienced the world and God, so I have to go with Bill's argument here.

Edited by volgadon

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Thank you Robert F. Forget the "divine council". Everything else is OK! :)

On the subject of Ariel Bension, I think Bill Hamblin needs to learn something him and his works, who has said in this thread:

The idea that there is religious phenomena called mysticism, found in all major religions, is a modern concept. No actual practicing mystic before the twentieth century would agree with this idea. Sufis don't have a mystical relationship with God. They have a sufistic relationship with Allah..

And I suppose Rabbi Bension has a cabalistic relationship with Jehovah.

On the subject of the relationship between Sufism and Jewish mysticism, it goes a lot deeper than most people realise. The Sufis adopted practices that were almost identical to ancient Hebrew prophetic orders, down to the wearing of wool, the master/disciple relationships, and even the use of music to achieve the mystical state if communion with God, all of which can be found in the biblical text.

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Thank you Robert F. Forget the "divine council". Everything else is OK! :)

On the subject of Ariel Bension, I think Bill Hamblin needs to learn something him and his works, who has said in this thread:

And I suppose Rabbi Bension has a cabalistic relationship with Jehovah.

On the subject of the relationship between Sufism and Jewish mysticism, it goes a lot deeper than most people realise. The Sufis adopted practices that were almost identical to ancient Hebrew prophetic orders, down to the wearing of wool, the master/disciple relationships, and even the use of music to achieve the mystical state if communion with God, all of which can be found in the biblical text.

Wow, talk about misunderstanding. Ariel Bension had a Kabbalistic relationship with the Godhead, if you want to put it that way. Specifically, a Sharabbist one. He rejected different ones, even Hasidic ones, which were also a form of Kabbalah. Bill was spot on with the statement you quoted.

As for Jewish influences on Sufism, here is a good link. http://www.svabhinava.org/jerusalembenares/PaulFenton/SufiJewishExchangesChicago-frame.php

Edited by volgadon

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Thank you Robert F. Forget the "divine council". Everything else is OK! :)

On the subject of Ariel Bension, I think Bill Hamblin needs to learn something him and his works, who has said in this thread:

And I suppose Rabbi Bension has a cabalistic relationship with Jehovah.

I find it amazing that you read one discussion involving a few paragraphs about a man and you can determine his world view with enough precision to be certain that he would condemn another poster's nuanced POV. Edited by calmoriah

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I find it amazing that you read one discussion involving a few paragraphs about a man and you can determine his world view with enough precision to be certain that he would condemn another poster's nuanced POV.

Especially when those few paragraphs don't support the conclusion Harfad reached.

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The most common knowledge gained in such a state is that the mystic is truly one, in a metaphysical sense, with God. That at the center of one's soul, in the deepest parts of one's being, one will find God there.

The following is what we know about becoming one with the Father, it is found in John 17:

20 Neither apray I for these alone, but for them also which shallbbelieve on me through their word;

21 That they all may be aone; as thou, bFather, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be cone in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be aone, even as we are bone:

From these scriptures we learn that we become one with God through His glory.

Modern revelation teaches us that the glory of God is intelligence.

Prophet Joseph Smith: “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”

Mormon doctrine teaches that there is really only one way to obtain the glory of God, or pure intelligence. This is found in Doctrine and Covenants:

20 For if you keep my acommandments you shall receive of his bfulness, and be cglorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive dgrace for grace.

Similarly, the Bible teaches in John 14:

15 ¶If ye alove me, bkeep my ccommandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another aComforter, that he may babide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you acomfortless: I will bcome to you.

True mystics, from a Mormon perspective, are simply those who keep and cherish His word. These are those that will be glorified in the Father and be one with Him. There is no other way. Of course, prayer is a key commandment and medium of obtaining this intelligence and glory of God, but that is not enough.

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Oops! Not sure what happened there, but here is John 17: (wish I new how to edit these posts after posting)

20 Neither apray I for these alone, but for them also which shallbbelieve on me through their word;

21 That they all may be aone; as thou, bFather, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be cone in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be aone, even as we are bone:

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Ummmm...one more time. Sorry!

20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.

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(wish I new how to edit these posts after posting)

You will be able to edit your posts when you reach 25 posts...just five more as of my posting here.

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You will be able to edit your posts when you reach 25 posts...just five more as of my posting here.

Good to know, thanks! 4 more.

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