Here’s the definition I use for the word “mystic”: a person who claims to attain, or believes in the possibility of attaining, insight into mysteries transcending ordinary human knowledge, as by direct communication with the divine or immediate intuition in a state of spiritual ecstasy.
I understand it’s not a word everyone is familiar with. Buddhism is my path, but it’s not really correct to call it my religion. It’s a mystical path, not a religion. At least, that’s how I see it.
I realized not too long ago that I had a mystical worldview. Mystics have been present throughout human history. Mysticism pre-dates organized religion, but it’s something that has been almost lost in the modern world.
Here are some signs that you may be a mystic like me.
1) Personal connection rather than texts and doctrines.
Mystics want to personally connect with spirituality, rather than relying on someone else’s spiritual experience. They like to hear about the experiences of others, but aren’t tied to them.
2) Always Questioning
By nature, mystics are iconoclasts. They ask questions that some think shouldn’t be asked. They wonder about the nature of humanity and the nature of existence. For this reason, mystics are often uncomfortable with systems of authority, especially religious ones. Mystics are the ones who challenge authority and the status quo. The mystic isn’t attached to old paradigms.
3) Relying on Intuition
Mystics have an ability to rely on insight and intuitive perceptions. These are essential for a spiritual seeker.
4) Seeing the Truth Within
Mystics measure successes on the spiritual path based on their own internal guidance, rather than some external forms and rituals. The only purpose of ritual is to trigger some insight within.
5) Looking up at the stars in wonder.
Does it take you out of yourself when you look up at the sky? Even if you aren’t thinking about the vastness of the cosmos, this is still a sign of the mystic worldview. This means you’re connecting to deeper truths in the universe.
6) Feeling a lot of empathy, often too much.
The mystic has a tendency to transcend the ego, so the boundaries between Self and Other are a little more thin.
7) Connection to nature.
A feeling of relaxation when you are away from civilization is normal for the mystic. Not only because of the isolation, but also because the wonders of the natural world are manifested before us when we aren’t distracted by the city.
8) Devotion to Truth.
A love of facts and knowledge, as opposed to opinion and conjecture. A real seeker of the truth is rare.