Cristiam ran across the following definition of Mysticism on Wikipedia some time ago. The definition no longer exists there in this form. It is interesting to note how the word "mysticism" has evolved through time to have a somewhat pejorative meaning. It didn't start out that way. We find this early definition helpful and mind-expanding in the way it connects all the practices it describes (obviously, there are many others not included) by getting to the their very source - which turns out to be the same seen from different perspectives. We see how Unity In Motion fits in and have added our own sentence to describe it.
Unity in Motion and Mysticism
Mysticism (from the Greek mystikos, an initiate of a mystery religion)is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition instinct or insight. Mysticism usually centers on a practice or practices intended to nurture those experiences or awareness. Mysticism may be dualistic, maintaining a distinction between the self and the divine or may be non-dualistic. Differing religious traditions have described this fundamental mystical experience in different ways:
- Nullification and absorption within God’s Infinite Light (Hassidic school of Judaism)
- Complete non-identification with the world (Kaivalya in some schools of Hinduism, including Sankhya Sankhya and Yoga; Jhana in Buddhism) Liberation from the cycles of Karma (Moksha in Jainism and induism, Nirvana in Buddhism)
- Deep Intrinsic connection to ultimate reality (Satori in Mahayana Buddhism, Te in Taoism)
- Union with God (Henosis in Neoplatonism and Brahma-Prapti or Brahma-Nirvana in Hunduism (fano in Sufism)
- Theosis or Divinization, union with God and a participation of the divine nature (in Catholic Christianity and Eastern Orthodoxy)
- Innate Knowledge Hinduism (Irfan and Sufism in Islam)
- Experience of one’s true blissful nature (Samadhi Svarupa-Avirbhava in Hinduism and Buddhism)
- Seeing the Light, or “that of God”, in everyone Hinduism (Quakerism)
- The Love of God, as in the Hinduism, Baha’I Faith, Christianity, Islam and many other spiritual traditions
Enlightenment or Illumination are generic English terms for the phenomenon, derived from the Latin illuminatio (applied to Christian prayer in the 15th century) and adopted in English translations of Buddhist texts, but used loosely to describe the state of mystical attainment regardless of faith.
Mystic traditions form sub-currents within larger religious traditions—such as Kabbalah with Judaism, Sufism with Islam, Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism with Hinduism, Christian mysticism within Christianity—but are often treated skeptically and sometimes held separately, by more orthodox or mainstream groups within the given religion, due to the emphasis of the mystics on direct experience and living realization over doctrine. Mysticism is sometimes taken by skeptics or mainstream adherents as mere obfuscation, though mystics suggest they are offering clarity of a different order or kind. In fact, a basic premise of nearly every mystical path, regardless of religious affiliation, is that the experiences of divine consciousness, enlightenment and union with God that are made possible via mystical paths, are available to everyone who is willing to follow the practice of a given mystical system. Within a given mystical school, or path, it is much more likely for the mystical approach to be seen as a divine science, because of the direct, replicable elevation of consciousness the mystical approach can offer to anyone, regardless of previous spiritual or religious training.
In this light, the learning and practice of the movements of Unity in Motion prompt the embodiment of an essential experience of unity that is the Presence of The Divine.
Some mystic traditions can exclude the validity of other traditions. However, mystic traditions tend to be more accepting of other mystic traditions than the non-mystical versions of their traditions. This is based on the premise that the experienced divinity is able to bring other mystics to their own tradition if necessary. Some, but not all, mystics are even open to the idea that their tradition may not be the most practical version of mystic practice.