In his introduction to ‘The Wisdom of the Christian Mystics, author Timothy Freke describes Mysticism as follows:
"Mysticism is the spiritual essence of Christianity. The great Christian mystics, however, have often found themselves horribly persecuted as heretics by the established Churches for their outrageous claims and idiosyncratic ways. The mystics are not content to have a relationship with God via priests and institutions, but look inside themselves to know God directly. When they do, God is revealed as an all-embracing love that unites the universe into one indivisible whole. In communion with God, the mystics no longer experience themselves as separate individuals but as expressions of the Oneness. God is the only reality. God is everything. God does everything. This mystical vision is not a psychological anomaly: it is the natural state; human beings fail to experience it only because they believe themselves to be separate from God, when in fact He is their very essence. All mystical practices are designed to dispel this pernicious illusion of separateness.
The teachings that the mystics have left for us are not their opinions about God for us to believe or disbelieve. The 16thThey are testimonies to the possibility of certain intuitive knowledge of the Truth, that may tempt us with their sublime intensity lo make the mystical journey for ourselves. 16-century Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, writes, "God does not reserve the high vocation of mystical contemplation for certain souls only. On the contrary he wants all to embrace it, but finds few who will permit Him to work such exalted things for them." The very purpose of human life is to come to knowledge of God, and if we simply turn toward God we will find that He has been waiting for us all along. The 17th-century French mystic, Brother Lawrence, assures us "Knock, persevere in knocking, and 1 guarantee that He will answer".
In recent years more and more people have come to realize that God cannot be confined to the dogmatic teachings of any religious institution. The God most people seek today is the God who meets us where we are – not where others would have us be. At best a religious institution can point the way but it must never become confused with the destination. Knowing God is not about studying religious text, repetitive prayers, elaborate rituals, or withdrawing from family and friends to a desert island or cave. It is not about belonging to a religious institution. While the sound of bells, or the smell of wax candles and incense may cause us to recall a special moment in time, they are not necessary to experience the longing presence of God in the most sacred place in the world – i.e., our heart. Knowing God is the intuitive experience deep within the human DNA or psyche. It is present in all human beings from the time of creation to eternity. It is our indestructible soul that moves beyond space and time – ‘I was there when He laid the earth’s foundations’ Proverbs 8: 22-31. Knowing God does not require anyone to recite or study passages of Holy Scripture, the life of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, or Moses. How can we make these seemingly outrageous claims? Just think of an infant, perhaps only days old, the young soldier killed in battle, the individual bound by an incapacitating disease or the native born in the remotest forest on the earth – do we really believe God forsakes the least of his people? Do we believe that people who are incapable or have never read the Bible, the Koran etc., do not share in the mystery of God’s presence?
Knowledge of God has therefore nothing to do with any intellectual knowing. It is not dependent on any religious status or degrees. We do not achieve holiness. We simply are! God created us in his image and we can never be any holier than we already are. The further we move away from any idea that we are separate from God the closer we will find him in our heart and mind and recognize him in others. God does not favour anyone or anything over another, nor does He make demands, punish or reward. God simply is and His love (expression) is found throughout creation and in every human being. God’s love is unconditional. God does not get upset by the events and happenings of the world. God simply observes and brings all things to good. God is the Oneness that brings us all together not just now but for an eternity.
“ The very purpose of human life is to come to knowledge of God, and if we simply turn toward God we will find that He has been waiting for us all along”. T. Freke
Timothy Freke (born 1959) is a British author of books on religion and mysticism Freke is perhaps best known for his books, co-authored with Peter Gandy, which advocate a Gnostic understanding of early Christianity and the Christ myth theory , including The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God? and The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom.
Freke also runs experiential seminars in the UK, USA and Europe.