Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics

Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics

Harmonizing Evolutionary Convergence

Glossary Menus


What is the meaning of mystic? The etymology of the word indicates that humans have long known that something exists that supposedly cannot be understood by the rational mind. Since the ancient Greeks, people have attempted to access this ‘something’ through spiritual practices, known only to initiates, such as closing the eyes in silence.

So, do the compilers of dictionaries, who rationally define the meanings of words, understand what it means to be a mystic? Apparently not. For they generally refer to what mystics know as ‘belief’. Yet, such inner knowing of God is not a belief. Rather, when humans know in direct experience that none of us is ever separate from the Divine, this understanding can best be designated Gnosis. The experience is the proof, beyond belief.

We can shed fresh light on the traditional meaning of mystic when evolution becomes fully aware of itself at its glorious culmination—its Omega Point. For then we can use Integral Relational Logic, as the universal system of thought, to form the concept of the Absolute in exactly the same way as we form all other concepts. What is mystical, hidden, and occult is then no longer a mystery.

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Before 1382, mistyke ‘spiritually symbolic, pertaining to mysteries of faith’, from Old French mistique ‘mysterious, full of mystery’, or directly from Latin mysticus ‘mystical, mystic, secret, of secret rites’, from Greek mustikos ‘secret, mystic, connected with the mysteries’, from mustēs ‘one who has been initiated’, from mūein ‘to close the eyes or lips’, initiate (into the mysteries); instruct’, from PIE base *- ‘to murmur, be silent’.

Meaning ‘pertaining to occult practices or ancient religions’ is recorded by 1610s. That of ‘hidden from or obscure to human knowledge or comprehension’ is by 1630s.

Mystical ‘enigmatic, obscure, symbolic’, about 1471.

As noun, ‘person who believes in mystic things, exponent of mystical theology, one who accepts or preaches some form of mysticism’, about 1679. With sense ‘symbolic meaning, interpretation’ about 1333.

Mysticism ‘beliefs of mystics, any mode of thought or life in which reliance is placed upon a spiritual illumination believed to transcend ordinary powers of understanding’, about 1736. “Often especially in a religious sense, and since the Enlightenment a term of reproach, implying self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought.”

Common ancestor(s):