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A Contemporary Mysticism: Support on the…

A Contemporary Mysticism: Support on the Spiritual Path

by Michael Resman

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“We harm our own spiritual life, and the lives of others, when we insist that God is only this, or only that. It’s understandable that humans want to control God, but it’s not only impossible, it’s destructive.” This is one of the gems of universal wisdom that Michael Resman shares. After twenty years of living as a mystic, Resman has written a sort of handbook—a little book of advice—for those who have had mystical experiences (a knowing experience of the Eternal) and are wondering, “What’s next?”
Resman comes from a religious tradition of seekers who believe that the personal experience of the Divine is more useful than receiving instruction from those who have read about it—a sort of If-You-Meet-the-Buddha-on-the-Road-Kill-Him approach to spiritual growth. He writes, “As a Quaker, it is my sincere desire that you don’t believe a word I say. Instead, I hope you take bits and pieces presented here into your mind, heart and soul to discover your own truth.”
For the most part, Resman’s advice is universally sound, with considerable emphasis on the importance of cultivating humility. And like many who yearn to live altruistically meaningful lives, he often worries that his motives are not sufficiently pure. There is a satisfaction at doing good that seems to contradict the altruistic nature of a charitable act. Humility keeps you safe, he repeatedly insists, for “there are siren songs inveigling us to wander off into all sorts of self-deceptions” and “it can be heady stuff to see what others have not seen.”
Resman’s first mystical experience twenty years ago was his jumping-off point, from being the average socially aware American to becoming a full-time devotee of God. Where once he got up each morning and went to his work as a pediatric occupational therapist, he now gets up each morning and goes to his work as a conscious servant of his God.
I don’t mean that being socially aware is average, but in the company that Resman keeps—the Religious Society of Friends, more popularly known as Quakers—being socially aware is the common denominator among a diverse group, who in modern times, run the gamut from evangelical Christians to nontheists. Resman is among those Quakers who consider themselves Christian, and he is comfortable with the G word as representing his experience of the Numinous. Thus Resman’s transformation to mystic was another step along a continuum, a path that demanded that he live his Christianity through emulating Christ—not simply a sin-confessing believer, but an embodiment of the spiritual ethic that is the heart and soul of all the world’s great religions.
If you’re one of those people who have had mystical experiences that you are afraid to discuss with anyone—or you entrusted your experience to someone who recommended (or even arranged) exorcism or a stay in a mental health facility—you may find that Resman’s matter-of-fact approach to nourishing your gift and putting it to work in the world is truly a support-group-in-a-book.
  bookcrazed | Jul 17, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0692370145, Paperback)

Here is companionship on the spiritual path. Growing to love God is wonderful, and can also be confusing. Why did that happen? What does it mean? What should I do? Is it OK? How can I get closer to the One? Stories from decades of struggles, failures and joys are offered. Not as ‘the’ answer to any spiritual question, but reassurance that others have traveled where you are going.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 17 Jul 2015 22:16:29 -0400)

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