Mystical theology is a branch of theology which focuses on experiences or states of the soul which are experienced mystically and cannot be produced by human effort.
The Desert Fathers
Desert Fathers is a term for the early Christian ascetics, who lived in the third century a reclusive life in the deserts of Egypt and Syria, either as a hermit or in groups. The main principle of the Desert Fathers was to sit down in the hut (cell) and then "feel the path of effective spiritual practice from within." They called it "your hut will teach you." The skill on the spiritual path is to find exactly the right degree of personal rest and activity. Decisively on the path of enlightenment (inner happiness) is to deal wise with the thoughts. We have to find a way to resolve the mental blockades. Then there is suddenly an inner transformation and man is in happiness. The victory over all suffering is the awakening of the inner light (God consciousness). An important problem of the Desert Fathers was dealing with sexuality. They have talked about it openly. Who represses his sexuality, gets tensions and blocks his enlightenment. On the other hand, too much sex causes attachments and in turn creates internal tensions. The Desert Fathers have been trying to find sensitive their personal way of resolution of sexual addictions and relationship desires. A desert father convinced himself of living alone with the thought, that he had to work much for a relationship. The life of a hermit is much more quiet and friendly. Another desert father saw women only as people (sisters, daughters, mothers, goddesses) and not as sexual beings. A third desert father had a girlfriend in a nearby village. When he was visited by his fellow monks, he hid her. A holy father discovered her, but he did not betray. He only told the monk to give good care of himself. This can be understood that one can have a relationship, but without losing his spiritual path.
The desert fathers dealt also with the question, whether it is more important to help a fellow human being, or to pray. Who is holier, the helper or the prayer (contemplation)? Basically both is important. But the helper is holier than the prayer. A helper could consume in helping and lose his peace of mind. Therefor a helping man needs the rest and prayer, if he wants to find God. The desert mother Synkletika knew that the hermit who want to live a life in God, stands before a lot of inner work and hard fighting. But in the end there would be an unspeakable joy. On the path to God one should not overwhelm oneself. Some hermits need a flower in their hut, and some do not. Suppose someone can not live without a flower, he should plant one. Who needs joy on his way should give himself sufficient enjoyment.
(Excerpts from Sayings of the Desert Fathers])
- Abba Moses, "Sit in thy cell and thy cell will teach thee all."
- A hermit said, 'Take care to be silent. Empty your mind. Concentrate on God, whether you are resting or at work. If you do this, you will overcome your problems.'
- A man who keeps death before his eyes will at all times overcome his problems.
- Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, 'I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace, and, as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?' Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, 'If you will, you can become all flame.'
- Abba Ammonas was asked, 'What is the "narrow and hard way?" (Mt. 7.14) He replied, 'The "narrow and hard way" is this, to control your thoughts, and to strip yourself of your own will, for the sake of God."
- It was said of Abba Helladius that he spent twenty years in the Cells, without ever raising his eyes to see the roof of the church.
- Amma Theodora said, 'Let us strive to enter by the narrow gate, Just as the trees, if they have not stood before the winter's storms cannot bear fruit, so it is with us; this present age is a storm and it is only through many trials and temptations that we can obtain an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.'
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite was a Christian theologian and philosopher of the late 5th to early 6th century (writing before 532). According to him, the human soul longs for God. This longing can only be satisfied through the mystical unity with God. This recognition of God is reached through inner cleansing, enlightenment and unity. The recognition of God, to live with God, is the highest form of bliss according to Areopagita. The way to God can be described with the terms of darkness (becoming nothing) and light (bliss). First a person must get rid of the inner dependences and attachments to material things, then he or she must go through the darkness of dissolving the ego and then wakes up in God’s light.
Teresa of Ávila
Teresa of Ávila is a well known Christian mystic. Her main technique was to practice four steps of anchoring the self: 1. Mental prayer 2. Prayer of quiet (contemplation, meditation) 3. Devotion of union (bliss within God) 4. Devotion of ecstasy or rapture “ What is the soul in this condition! She would like nothing else than tongues to praise the Lord.”
Meister Eckhart was an important theologian and philosopher of the late Middle Ages. He taught an intensely personal image of God and of a way to enlightenment through meditation. A person should not just think about God. “those who have God in their very existence…is illuminated in all things, and all things taste of God, and God’s image is visible in all things…. Striving and effort and attention to the inner world belong to this.” “He must learn an inner solitude wherever and with whomever he may be. He must learn to break through things and to reach for God within. He should be proficient in this art of being, and should practice this often.”
My experience of Jesus Christ
Nils: "My parents are atheists. After my studies, I became a lawyer. When I was thirty, I found my spiritual calling in addition to my profession. I did three hours of spiritual exercise daily. In November 1986 I had my first big enlightenment experience. During a meditation while lying down, a warm column of energy slowly rose from my lower belly. As the energy reached my head, my self-consciousness disappeared, I became one with the all-encompassing love of the cosmos. I experienced extreme happiness. I was suddenly able to understand the holy books written throughout mankind's history at a deeper level.
The high point of my spiritual experience was what I felt as the entrance of the Holy Spirit. A thick beam of energy flew from the sky and into my crown chakra. The energy flowed through my body and filled it out completely. On my head was a small flame of energy. This experience is comparable with the Pentecost event. On the heads of the early Christians appeared small energy tongues. Spontaneously arose in me the thought that now I have been blessed by the Holy Spirit. I felt the energy beam as a descent of the Holy Spirit. A short time later I had another amazing experience. When I made my daily walk one evening, I suddenly had the feeling that I was seen from the sky. It was as if at the sky there was a large eye that saw me. The message of this eye was: "You can go your way with trust. You are guided by God." I read the Bible thoroughly from front to back. Through my experiences of enlightenment I could now understand the deep wisdom in the Scriptures. I also understood what the term "God" did mean.
One day I layed on my bed and meditated. My thoughts always came to rest more and more. Suddenly Jesus Christ stood as a great shining light in the middle of the room. Back then I lived for six years as a hermit in seclusion. I knew immediately that this luminary was Jesus Christ. Jesus came to me and floated into me. I was filled with bliss. I rested for some time in this unimaginably large energy of love, peace and light."
Finding God through the path of enlightenment
God is a mystery that can be seen and understand only by enlightenment. One can see God only in enlightenment. The Bible says: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Who cleans his heart (his mind) with spiritual exercises, enters the dimension of God and sees God. With funding of physics or logic, we can describe God very limited. Science cannot explore more than circumstantial evidences for God. If one really want to know whether God exists, one must realize enlightenment.
1. Purify yourself. Do walking (body work, pilgrimage), meditation and mental work. Practice the five qualities inner peace, love, wisdom, self-discipline and happiness.
2. Pray to Jesus, God or Mother Mary.
3. Pray for all people. Send all people light. All-encompassing love is the quickest way to a life in God. Move a hand in blessing and think, "I send light to (name). May all people be happy. May the world be happy."
4. Connect daily with God or the enlightened Masters (the saints) and follow the voice of your inner wisdom. Read in the holy books, pray or think a mantra as: "Dear God (Om all enlightened Masters). Om inner wisdom. Please guide and help me on my way."
(Quote Forum Jesus.de, 2011)
Nils: There is only one religion, the religion of love. All religions are different roads to that one religion. When we allow ourselves to be found by God, to be containers and channels of love, there will be paradise on earth and heaven.
Kahlan: I found it very interesting that you have a daily structure, a system. That is something that also exists in daily life of a monastery: an order and structure. That is what is so appealing for people who visit monasteries, in this peace and quiet of order they are able to relax and find peace.
Nils: That’s exactly the way it is. You use a structured daily plan to find a calm state of being. However, in most monasteries there’s a chance one works too much, does too many rituals or has too much contact with other people. Then one uses all of his or her energy for material things and has none left to turn inward. When one lives in a state of calm and doing little, then at some point, the energy focuses inward. At that point, inner tension begins to dissolve, and the person begins to grow in light. This point is difficult to find and hold onto. This hardly works with other people around. First being alone feels intolerably boring and then one starts to really feel uncomfortable, and then suddenly the hermit is in God and bliss.
Norbert: Why does God allow suffering in the world?
Nils: I don’t ask myself this, because I see God-conscioness as the state of enlightenment. Those who are enlightened can fully (Buddha) or partially (Jesus) rise over suffering. Those who walk the spiritual path can use spiritual techniques (meditation, contemplation) to help with suffering. Suffering is. Where life is, there is suffering. If we want to live, we have to accept suffering as a part of that. We can only try to reduce or avoid suffering of the mind and body. An important way to get over suffering is shown to us by Moses. If we accept suffering in our lives and arrive in a state of non-attachment (in a state of “I am”, of God consciousness), then we can integrate suffering into our greater souls. Then inner bliss arises and we live in light despite any suffering.