Earth Energy Reader (in The Shift Has Hit the Fan blog) shares an interesting comparison from Chris Hedges, on the similarities between mystics and rebels, and a few related musings.
In a time and culture of Spiritual Entertainment and commoditized, (sometimes referred to as) ‘plastic’ or faux, surface-skimming spirituality, or spiritual bypass, it’s a good distinction to make.
But actual transformation, or transformed nonconformists as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of it (more on that below)? That’s a vital type of engaged spiritual or mystic activism, as it’s called.
It’s messy, though; gritty, difficult … inconvenient … so there’s a reason why it’s a more rare bird that flies in that direction.
Perhaps that’s why it’s a calling rather than a choice if you are so called; it’s a call you can’t ignore or hang up on when it gets inconvenient or downright ugly, and it definitely gets inconvenient and downright ugly at times.
As I think of several of my Mystic Heroes and Heroines along the way, I’m inclined to agree that yes, there are ways that true mystics — definitely outside the ‘normal’ of their (our) times — are like rebels. And vice versa, in the ways Chris Hedges describes.
If you follow the Mystic Breadcrumb trail, you’ll see what I mean (Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, and most assuredly Theresa of Avila … and others). Perhaps a followup post on those inspiring Mystic-Rebelles is in order, because they deserve it…okay, it’s on the writing list.
In the meanwhile, Earth Energy Reader’s post is a very worthy, and heart-and-thought-stirring, read.
It also reminds me of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s evocative phrases: Creative Maladjustment and Transformed Nonconformists (I wrote about that here – definitely Mystic-Rebel goin’ on there, and very inspiring if you are one!).
And a recent article sharing contemporary Mystic and Teacher, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s recent interview in Parabola Magazine (scroll a few posts from the Sophia’s Children home page and you’ll see it).
Mystics. Rebels. Transformed Nonconformists. We have a theme brewing here …
“Rebels share much in common with religious mystics. They hold fast to a vision that often they alone can see. They view rebellion as a moral imperative, even as they concede that the hope of success is slim and at times impossible. Rebels, a number of whom I interviewed for this book, are men and women endowed with a particular obstinacy. Willing to accept deprivation and self-sacrifice, they are not overly concerned with defeat. They endure through a fierce independence and courage. Many, maybe most, have difficult and eccentric personalities. The best of them are driven by a profound empathy, even love, for the vulnerable, the persecuted and the weak….There is nothing rational about rebellion. To rebel against insurmountable odds is an act of faith, without which the rebel is doomed. This faith is intrinsic to the rebel the way caution and prudence are intrinsic to those who seek to…
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