Real Transformation

"Bernard McGinn says that mysticism is 'a consciousness of the presence of God that by definition exceeds description and . . . deeply transforms the subject who has experienced it.' If it does not deeply change the lifestyle of the person — world view, economics, politics, and ability to form community — you have no reason to believe it is genuine mystical experience. It is often just people with an addiction to religion itself, which is not that uncommon.

"Mysticism is not just a change in some religious ideas or affirmations, but it is an encounter of such immensity that everything else shifts in position. Mystics have no need to exclude or eliminate others precisely because they have experienced radical inclusivity of themselves into something much bigger. They do not need to define themselves as enlightened or superior, whereas a mere transfer of religious assertions often makes people even more elitist and more exclusionary.

"True mystics are glad to be common, ordinary, servants of all, and just like everybody else, because any need for specialness has been met once and for all.

— Adapted from Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate . . . Seeing God in All Things (CD, DVD, MP3)