The theme of the morning walk was courage to be. There is a significant difference in the thinking of philosophers, theologians, and mystics in relation to courage. Courage is an existential word that only has meaning in context to a certain kind of position on how to define the word existential. Courage is considered in psychological. moral and military arenas to be something extraordinary. For moral theologians and philosophers, the word has to do with how one views one’s own existence in terms of ones finite-ness. For the theologian and philosopher, the word has to do with “existence”, It has to do with the notion of being-the courage to exist in an authentic moral way. The term is based on rational external argument and experience. For the mystic, the same term has nothing to do with the external rational world. It has to do with an awareness that every person, if they are willing to experience that overcomes even the issue of being. One does not experience anything except one’s One-being. Spiritual awareness is an internal experience of consciousness.
For the mystic, questions of courage in relationship to existence are meaningless. There is no courage for mystics, because it is not about being for them. It is an internal experiential grasping of Divine mystery. It is through Divine mystery that internal awareness is expanded. In this expansion, courage is not about being. It is about the willingness to expand in the face of a rational world and rational systems of the organized religious bodies of which one has to let go. Culture is the creator of the illusion. The choice to transcend culture is not usually a popular one. Although mystics usually exist within organizations, they are able to transcend the organization because of their internal awareness.
Historically, organized religious bodies have made room for their mystics. The courage for today is to continue to expand bodies of spiritually conscious groups who are able and willing to bring about a new reality of spiritual awareness in order to create a new culture. The old religious models must be replaced. Religion is not an organization,but a state of consciousness-spiritual consciousness.
From Journey with a Modern Mystic written by Rev. Dr. David Kenneth Wheaton Ph.D. Read by Jodi Behan. © Rev. Dr. David Kenneth Wheaton Ph.D.