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Bradford-on-Avon, England
I wonder if there is any call for a forum for comparative mystical discussions. I'm thinking of Christian mystics, Sufis, and the Kabaala (spelling?). Should the Gnostics be included? Seems to me we have some interesting overlaps. Is anyone else interested in this stuff?
Hi Cliff--

I think this has been brought up before, but I am glad you asked again. I know we don't necessarily like more "pidgeonholes" here at CR, but I often think that Mysticism could use a subforum of its very own.

I've been wondering the same thing... I think it might be a good subforum to have for a number of reasons. The top two reasons on my list are: first, to provide somewhere for those that do not know what mysticism is to gain understanding and second, to provide an area for mystics to discuss and compare their experiences, ideas, and so forth. There seem to be a lot of people that I meet in the U.S. that think mysticism is a recent new age phenomenon or that it has something to do with magic. This might help give a place for folks to go to that wish to know what it really is and the long history of it in the Western religions. Secondly, I can say that as a mystic, I find a lot of resonance with mystical writings from both within and outside of my religious tradition. I think it'd be interesting to have a place to discuss such writings as well as our own experiences and ideas across religious boundaries.

Maybe it would work as a subforum to B&S, or I suppose we could go with only Western religious mysticism and put it as a subforum on Abrahamic. Personally, I prefer to be as broad and inclusive as possible, but anything would be nifty.

Yes yes yes, assuming it is not bound by a particular faith (which to me would be contrary to what mysticism is; by my limited understanding).

Personal experiential communion with (insert your own term) is what I'm coming to see is really important and therefore interested in; as opposed to trading quotes from books to increase my storehouse of "facts." (or worse, spectating "my belief is the right one / better than your belief")

I think the Esoteric board used to be called Mysticism, then the boards in that section all got renamed...

I'm happy to see Mysticism threads in the B&S or Comparative section - what I'm a little adverse to doing at present is creating a brand new board as I'm sensitive to the possibility of creating further divisions in CR.

Of course, if it shows that mystical discussions are popular and a new board is fine, then I'll go with the flow...
I think the Esoteric board used to be called Mysticism, then the boards in that section all got renamed...

At the risk of sounding precious, I think there is an important difference between the ancient mystical traditions in the Abrahamic line, and Esoteric, which I see as more of a New Age thing. (Am I right?)

The point about the mystics is that they are all I think much more open to those of other religious traditions and give less weight to religious observances. This has allowed considerable acceptance of writings across ethnic boundaries. Reshad Feild's book "The Final Barrier" recounts how he was introduced to Sufi mysteries as a non-Muslim. The poetry of Rumi is as widely read as, say, the visions of Julian of Norwich.

To be honest I'm not sure what threads a dedicated forum would weave but I thought it would be interesting to find out - if there are enough contributors to support it, that is.

Yeah VC, while I don't know if we need a separate forum to discuss comparative mysticism-my chief interest-as alot of us tend to inject that kind of discussion into other fora anyway-I can say I'd support its discussion in whatever manner best works. The interesting thing to me about comparative mysticism is 1) it's experiential-it's about what people actually experience, not just the religious foundation from which they operate, (sometimes those experiences actually contradict traditional dogma) and 2) though it is probably only partially true, the old adage that mystics from different traditions are closer to one another in view than they are to non-mytics of their own tradition or "all mystics speak the same language" suggests that folks can start from very different religious positions and via the contemplative/mystical path often end up meeting on some common ground of experiences. So i'm with you buddy:) earl
Okay, stick any Mystic threads in the Esoteric section, and if it takes off, I'll rename it Mysticism or similar. :)